To begin kicking off Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April, former Vice President Joe Biden is continuing his work to end sexual assault. On Tuesday, Biden tweeted out a powerful PSA calling on all of us to reframe the way we think and talk about sexual assault.
"The correct word for sex without consent is rape," he wrote. "Period.
#ItsOnUs to know the signs and to stop it."
"Remember that drunk chick I was talking to at the party?" one of the texts reads. However, the PSA shows the term "talking to" being autocorrected to "targeting."
And when the texter writes that he had to "encourage" the girl to have sex with him, the text autocorrects to "force." The person on the other side of the conversation replies, "she totally wanted you," as "wanted you" corrects to "wanted you to stop."
The point being, the way that we frame sexual assault and sexual violence matters, and so does reading between the lines to intervene when someone we know is talking about instances of sexual assault.
It's On Us, spearheaded by Biden and former POTUS Barack Obama, is on its third year of campaigning to end sexual assault, particularly on college campuses. Biden has been an active leader in the campaign, having given a speech earlier this year on sexual assault at the It's On Us summit at the White House. Last year, he also gave a speech at the Oscars on sexual assault, and he wrote a powerful and moving letter to the Stanford sexual assault survivor.
"Autocorrect" kicks off It's on Us's Week of Action, during which students around the country will host over 300 events to raise awareness for sexual assault, including pledge drives and small group discussions on consent. To learn more about getting involved, head to It's On Us's website.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).