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.

More from US News

R29 Original Series