“[It’s] absolutely outrageous behavior,” Biden said, referencing a time Trump walked into the dressing room of several pageant contestants in various states of undress saying, “Don’t worry girls, I’ve seen it all before.”
During the second presidential debate on Sunday, Trump denied groping women without their consent after a 2005 tape was leaked of him boasting about such actions. However, stories continue to emerge casting doubt on Trump’s assertions.
“I have spent my career trying to change the culture in this country to we treat women with respect and with dignity,” Biden said. “My dad used to say that the greatest sin is abuse of power and the cardinal sin of all is a man raising his hand to a woman … So to go and intimidate women, assault them and they’re not going to say anything … that is the ultimate abuse of power. I don’t understand how anyone can remotely justify that.”
The issue resonates with the vice president, who introduced the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in Congress in 1990 as a senator. The bill established new federal crimes of interstate domestic violence and stalking, doubled penalties for repeat sex offenders and created more state-level laws to protect victims. Since the act was passed into law in 1994, rates of domestic violence have decreased by over 50 percent, according to the White House.
In January 2014, Biden became the co-chair of the newly created White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault alongside the White House Council on Women and Girls. The same year, Biden and the Council published a report on sexual violence, Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action.