Lady Gaga, Joe Biden planning centers for sexual assault survivors
Former Vice President announces plans at 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Summit
Amid the numerous sexual assault and harassment scandals rocking Hollywood and politics, Lady Gaga and Joe Biden could soon be partnering on a groundbreaking initiative to provide support to victims around across the country.
“Women who are abused end up having long-term physical and physiological problems,” the former vice president said in response to an audience question about rape on college campuses at Glamour‘s Women of the Year Summit in New York City on Monday. “I’m working with Lady Gaga now… we [want to] set up trauma centers where women can go to get the long-term help they need to deal with these crises… We finally are recognizing the long-term impacts on the health of women and men who’ve been abused. It’s the next great frontier I want to be part of.”
“The Vice President and Lady Gaga share an interest in addressing the long-term physical and emotional effects of trauma and they have been discussing what to do about it,” a spokesperson for Biden tells EW. “Their discussions on how to move forward are in the early stages.”
Reps for Gaga did not immediately return EW’s request for comment.
Gaga previously teamed with Biden for the It’s On Us campaign, which launched under the Obama administration but is now a nonprofit organization and is aimed at educating young people about the realities of sexual assault on college campuses and giving them the tools to intervene when they can.
Biden and Gaga started working together with regards to raising awareness on sexual assault after he introduced her performance of the Oscar-nominated song “Til It Happens To You” — inspired by Gaga’s personal experience with sexual assault and co-written with Diane Warren for the campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground–at the 88th Academy Awards in 2016.
Gaga has long championed for charitable causes, having co-founded the Born This Way Foundation with her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, in the name of promoting kindness and mental health resources. She has also partnered with the Dalai Lama and Prince William on similar causes in the recent past.
Earlier during his Women of the Year Summit discussion (moderated by Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive and also featuring the politician’s wife, former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden), Biden spoke out against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was accused of sexual harassment, rape, and other inappropriate acts by dozens of women after the New York Times published in October an exposé on the alleged misconduct.
“Oh, give me a break,” Biden said when Leive spoke of Weinstein’s supporters, some of whom have excused his alleged behavior because he was raised in a different time period (in a statement to the Times, Weinstein used a similar counter-argument and apologized for his behavior). “He should spend some time in jail as an old dinosaur… The cardinal sin of all is for a man to raise his hand to a woman or a child. This is about the abuse of power… We’re on the cusp of fundamentally changing culture. Women hold up half the sky and, guess what, it’s time this ends.”
“So many brave women have come forward, and it’s hard to come forward… don’t let this slow up. This is time to fundamentally change the culture of how women are treated in American society,” he said. “The culture is changing because so many brave women — knowing they were going to be vilified — are coming forward… Look at all these men have rightfully lost, now. Million dollar contracts! That wouldn’t have happened a year ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, so keep pushing.”
Watch Biden’s full comments about sexual assault at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit in the video above.
—The article has been updated to include comment from Biden’s spokesperson.