Read Joe Biden's Letter Of Support To The Stanford Sexual Assault Survivor

Photo: Cindy Barrymore/REX/Shutterstock.
In an open letter to the Stanford sexual assault survivor, Vice President Joe Biden has expressed his support for her, as well as his fury — "both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken that you were ever put in the position of defending your own worth."

"What you endured is never, never, never, NEVER a woman’s fault," the vice president wrote in the letter, provided to BuzzFeed News.

"I do not know your name — but I know that a lot of people failed you that terrible January night and in the months that followed."

The 23-year-old woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, recently shared the powerful statement she read to the man who assaulted her after he was sentenced to only six months in jail.

In his letter, Biden calls the survivor "a warrior — with a solid steel spine" who was failed not only by anyone who looked the other way at the party during which she was attacked or who dismissed what happened to her, but also by "a culture on our college campuses where one in five women is sexually assaulted — year after year after year. A culture that promotes passivity. That encourages young men and women on campuses to simply turn a blind eye."

He also commended the survivor's bravery in speaking out, writing that in doing so, she "will save lives."

"It must have been wrenching — to relive what he did to you all over again. But you did it anyway, in the hope that your strength might prevent this crime from happening to someone else. Your bravery is breathtaking."

Biden, author of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, is also involved with the White House's "It's On Us" campaign to end campus sexual assault. The vice president spoke for the campaign at the 2016 Oscars, calling on all of us to take the pledge against campus rape when he introduced Lady Gaga's live performance of "Til It Happens to You," the song the artist co-wrote for The Hunting Ground, a documentary on campus sexual assault.

"While the justice system has spoken in your particular case," Biden wrote in his letter, "the nation is not satisfied. And that is why we will continue to speak out."

"To do otherwise — to see an assault about to take place and do nothing to intervene — makes you part of the problem," the letter reads. "Like I tell college students all over this country — it’s on us. All of us. We all have a responsibility to stop the scourge of violence against women once and for all."

Read the letter in full at BuzzFeed.
Advertisement

More from US News

Throughout history, Americans have used activism as a tool to seek positive change in communities and in government. That's no different today. With ...
Election Day lasts just one day — a 24-hour culmination of the seemingly never-ending campaign season. But we’ll spend the next two, four, six years ...
1. Here At Home: A teenager killed his father before opening fire at a school in South Carolina where he wounded two students and a teacher. ...
If the chaotic party politics of the 2016 election have left you feeling completely birdbrained, this video is for you. The Founding Fathers (presented ...
California passed a law Wednesday removing the state's 10-year statute of limitations for filing of child molestation and rape charges. Governor Jerry ...
Monday night was the personification of media bias and rigged politics
If you had to describe the current political climate in America, what word would you choose: volatile, toxic, or divisive? Perhaps all of the above. ...
Hillary Clinton has been a role model for our generation for years, and now she’s laying out a master class in taking on workplace sexism
1. Major News: A bill to prevent the government from shutting down and to fund the fight against Zika was stalled in the Senate. With a 45-55 vote, the...
But take heart. There won’t be a President Trump. Not if I and millions of other women in this country have anything to say about it
A young girl delivered a powerful message of peace speaking at the first Charlotte City Council meeting since violence threatened to rip the city apart ...
Hillary Clinton long ago learned to let the insults roll off her back. And in doing so, she’s uncovered Trump's Achilles' heel
Donald Trump believes that climate change is a hoax. Sorry, Donald Trump does not believe that climate change is a hoax. Are you confused yet? I don't ...
Less than 12 hours after being criticized for calling out a former Miss Universe about her weight, Donald Trump is doubling down on his body-shaming ...