WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden said Friday the nation needs to bring young men into the struggle against domestic violence by encouraging them to stand against the crime on college campuses.
Biden, speaking at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee's women's leadership forum, said the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act highlights the need to fight domestic violence against women in their teens and 20s.
Biden said the administration would be unrelenting "to make it clear that it is cowardly not to step up."
"There is an absolute obligation, a moral obligation, to step up and intervene and say something," Biden said.
President Barack Obama and Biden were unveiling a campaign Friday to target domestic violence on college campuses. The vice president also was holding a round-table discussion on domestic violence later in the day in Denver, where he planned a fundraiser for Democrat Andrew Romanoff, who is challenging GOP Rep. Mike Coffman in a competitive congressional district.
Biden, who pushed the anti-violence measure in the 1990s as a Delaware senator, said an estimated 1 in 5 college women are attacked and that the new campaign would urge college students to make sure their friends are safe and to intervene before an assault takes place.
The vice president spoke as the National Football League deals with several cases involving players accused of committing violence against women or children. Biden said the league was smart to hire one of his former aides, Cynthia Hogan. "The NFL hasn't seen nothing yet," Biden said.
The vice president spoke at a daylong forum for more than 500 of the DNC's top female donors and activists. Democrats hope to mobilize female voters in large numbers this fall, and Biden cited a number of key races, including Senate campaigns featuring female incumbents in Louisiana, North Carolina and New Hampshire and the Texas governor's race featuring Democrat Wendy Davis.
Biden said Democrats should "make sure we don't slide back a decade by losing the Senate and losing ground in the House."