Vice President Joe Biden has joined the national conversation on Brock Turner, the ex-Stanford swimmer who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman last year.
Biden penned an open letter of support directly addressing Turner’s victim, who has chosen to remain anonymous.
He shared the letter with Buzzfeed News today.
I am in awe of your courage for speaking out — for so clearly naming the wrongs that were done to you and so passionately asserting your equal claim to human dignity,” he wrote. “You were failed 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. 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.
Biden has fought to increase awareness of the sexual assault problem on college campuses, Buzzfeed notes. He’s been involved with President Obama’s bystander intervention campaign called It’s On Us, and also authored the 1994 Violence Against Women Act.
“Your words will help people you have never met and never will. You have given them the strength they need to fight,” he wrote in the letter’s conclusion. “I do not know your name — but I will never forget you.”
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