Vice President Joe Biden Comes to Central Illinois

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CHAMPAIGN-URBANA--Vice President Joe Biden came to Central Illinois to share the White House's efforts to reduce sexual assaults on college campuses.

Stopping sexual assault starts with a simple principle, according to Biden.     

"No means no, no matter what," said Biden. "No means no."
    
That was the message the Vice President brought to the University of Illinois Thursday, as part of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

It's an issue that Biden began working on while he was still a senator.

Despite passing the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, he says the problem is still prevalent.

"The same percentage of young girls in high school and women in college are being abused and raped as they were 20 years ago," said Biden. "So they haven't changed enough."

The "It's on Us" campaign aims to change that. So far, more than 200,000 people across the country have pledged to create an environment on college campuses where survivors are supported and abusers are shunned, while understanding that violence is not just a violation.

"It's not only grounds for discipline and expulsion. You should go to jail if you engage in that activity," said Biden.

At the U of I, Biden recognized the impressive number of students and faculty that have signed on to the campaign: more than 1200 so far.  

But he wants that number to grow, specifically the number of young men taking a stand against sexual assault.

"And by the way gentlemen, silence is a form of approval. Inaction is a form of cowardice. And speaking up takes courage, but is expected," said Biden. "Enough is enough is enough. This must stop. It is able to stop."

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