While Brock Turner‘s friends and family had penned letters vouching for his character, Vice President Joe Biden is now writing his own letter supporting the survivor the Stanford University swimmer sexually assaulted.
The 73-year-old explained that her emotional statement about her assault is “forever seared” on his soul, writing:
“I am in awe of your courage for speaking out ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ for so clearly naming the wrongs that were done to you and so passionately asserting your equal claim to human dignity.
And I am filled with furious anger ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ 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.
It must have been wrenching ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ 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.
You are a warrior ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ with a solid steel spine.”
We completely agree. Speaking up and sharing her shocking story was incredibly inspiring and brave.
But President Barack Obama‘s second-in-command also explained that “a lot of people failed [her]” on the night she was attacked, adding:
“Anyone at that party who saw that you were incapacitated yet looked the other way and did not offer assistance. Anyone who dismissed what happened to you as “just another crazy night.” Anyone who asked “what did you expect would happen when you drank that much?” or thought you must have brought it on yourself.
You were failed by a culture on our college campuses where one in five women is sexually assaulted ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ year after year after year. A culture that promotes passivity. That encourages young men and women on campuses to simply turn a blind eye.
The statistics on college sexual assault haven’t gone down in the past two decades. It’s obscene, and it’s a failure that lies at all our feet.
And you were failed by anyone who dared to question this one clear and simple truth: Sex without consent is rape. Period. It is a crime.”
The Pennsylvania native went on to praise the Swedish bikers who tackled Brock when they realized he was raping the unconscious woman.
He also AH-mazingly slammed her attacker’s father, who made pretty controversial comments downplaying his son’s actions, and stood by the victim:
“I see the limitless potential of an incredibly talented young woman ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ full of possibility. I see the shoulders on which our dreams for the future rest.
I see you.
You will never be defined by what the defendant’s father callously termed “20 minutes of action.”
His son will be.
I join your global chorus of supporters, because we can never say enough to survivors: I believe you. It is not your fault.
What you endured is never, never, never, NEVER a woman’s fault.”
Joe also added that the country is not happy with the 20-year-old’s light sentence, and will continue to “speak to change the culture on our college campuses.”
And that’s exactly what Stanford students are doing now.
One of the school’s advocacy group’s, Stanford Association of Students for Sexual Assault Prevention, has launched a petition that demands the university increase resources to prevent sexual assault, make more assault education requirements, add counseling services, and more.
The document also insists that Stanford apologize to the survivor and offer her accommodations like counseling.