Biden recalls domestic abuse law's start

By: Mark Morgenstein and Anna Gonzalez CNN
By: Mark Morgenstein and Anna Gonzalez CNN

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden, author of the Violence Against Women Act, said he wrote the law to change a "cultural norm" that blamed women for violence, he said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with HLN.

"Young women would testify before us and say, 'This happened to me. That happened to me,'" Biden recalled to HLN's Christi Paul after a speech at the National Domestic Violence Hotline headquarters in Austin, Texas, commemorating National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. "And I'd ask the question, 'What was the response of your girlfriends?' They said, 'Well, why were you wearing what you're wearing?'"

Biden authored the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, when he was a senator. It established both the Office on Violence Against Women and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which has received more than 3 million calls since its inception in early 1996.

"The reason I wrote the Violence Against Women Act in the beginning was to change that cultural norm," Biden said. "No means no means no. Whether it's in the bedroom, on the street, whether you're drunk or sober, it's no. No means no."

The vice president told Paul that his father inspired his dedication to preventing domestic abuse.

"My dad used to say, 'The ultimate sin is abuse of power, and the ultimate abuse of power is a man raising his hand to a woman.' We were raised that if you see it, you have an obligation to do something about it," Biden said.

Paul is also an advocate for domestic violence awareness. Partial proceeds from Paul's book about her past abusive relationship, "Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt," go to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

During the interview, Paul also asked about the recent problems with the Obamacare website.

Earlier Wednesday, Americans trying to sign up for health care on www.healthcare.gov were greeted with the message, "The system is down at the moment."

"Neither (President Barack Obama) or I are technology geeks, and we assumed it was up and ready to run," Biden told Paul. "The good news is -- although it's not, and we apologize for that -- we're confident that by the end of November it will be and there will still be plenty of time for people to register online."

While he could not explain the technical reasons for the website delay, he did call it "inexcusable."

When Paul asked if she would see Biden at the next inaugural parade, the potential 2016 presidential candidate responded with a laugh, and said, "I actually will one way or another, because the outgoing president and vice president show up."

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