People love to tease Joe Biden in jest, but he’s also quite lovable, possibly the most lovable vice-president we’ve had yet. When it comes to matters of women’s rights and sexual assault in particular, well, Biden’s been winning the hearts of feminists like us for a long time. Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden spoke about sexual assault at the “It’s On Us” summit at the White House, the last speech he’ll give on this topic as vice president. He opened the speech with a moving personal tale. “I want you to know that I sometimes, as you’ve observed, I sometimes become a little passionate about this issue and I’m often asked, and I really mean this, by the press, ‘Is the reason for my passion [that] my mother or my wife or my sister was a victim of violence?’ And the answer is no. I was raised by a gentle man…The cardinal sin was for a man to raise his hand against a woman…My dad expected that if we saw it, get engaged, try to stop it. Get engaged!” Growing up with a dad like that inspired him to well, get engaged, and he’s been a champion of sexual assault ever since. As he wrapped the speech up, Biden said, “Here’s the deal guys. I’m no longer going to be vice president, but…I’m going to be setting up a foundation that’s going to devote the rest of my life to dealing with violence against women…We have to continue to organize…I’m counting on you…Stay engaged…” According to Elite Daily, the summit’s bill also included student leaders (one of whom introduced Biden), community organizers, and federal colleagues, who all came together to talk about how they would further the progress Biden and the administration has made on this issue. This isn't the first time Biden has been so outspoken about sexual assault — last year, he gave a speech at the Oscars on sexual assault, and he wrote a powerful and moving letter to the Stanford sexual assault survivor. And of course, he and President Obama launched the It’s On Us campaign to end sexual assault on college campuses in September, 2014.
Though we know Biden will still continue to fight the good fight, we’re going to miss having a vice president who cares this much about women’s issues and fights this hard for a cause we hold near and dear. Watch the whole speech below (it starts around 6:25:30):