Vice President Joe Biden joined the chorus of voices lending their support to the Stanford rape survivor, praising her courage for speaking out publicly against her attacker.
“I do not know your name — but your words are forever seared on my soul,” Biden wrote in an open letter he provided to BuzzFeed on Thursady. “Words that should be required reading for men and women of all ages. Words that I wish with all of my heart you never had to write.”
Biden stopped short of addressing the judge’s controversial decision to give the rapist — former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner — a slap on the wrist in the form of a six-month jail term.
Biden went on to say that he was “in awe” of the survivor “for so clearly naming the wrongs that were done to you and so passionately asserting your equal claim to human dignity.”
The story drew national attention after the survivor, who has not been named publicly, shared her own 12-page statement describing in excruciating detail how she was raped behind a dumpster while unconscious.
The 23-year-old victim also slammed Turner and his lawyer for trying to discredit her by making an issue of the fact that she was intoxicated at the time of the attack.
The judge, Aaron Persky, is now on the receiving end of some intense backlash for what many consider too lenient of a sentence. Turner’s father is also under fire for his statement to the court, saying his son shouldn’t be judged for “20 minutes of action.”
Biden took aim at the America’s “broken” justice system, calling the woman a “warrior with a solid steel spine.”
“I am filled with furious anger — 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 — to relive what he did to you all over again,” he said. “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 — with a solid steel spine.”
Biden ends with these words to the victim:
“Your story has already changed lives. You have helped change the culture.”