Joe Biden Wrote a Powerful Open Letter to the Stanford Survivor

June 9th 2016

Aimee Kuvadia

Vice President Joe Biden has responded to the powerful courtroom statement of the Stanford University sexual assault survivor.


In an open letter sent Buzzfeed News, Biden applauds the survivor's courage, and states that her decision to speak out "will save lives."

The survivor's courtroom letter was written to her attacker, Stanford student Brock Turner, who received only a six-month sentence in county jail and probation after being convicted of three counts sexual assault, according to the Mercury News.


Judge Aaron Persky prompted nationwide outrage in handing down Turner's sentence, which he rationalized by saying “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him … I think he will not be a danger to others."

Biden writes that he is "furious" over the way sexual assault victims are treated.

"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," Biden writes in the letter. "And 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."

He goes on to talk about how both society and culture failed her the night of her sexual assault in January and in months that followed.

"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," he writes.

In the final line of his letter, Biden predicts the survivor's statement will have a major impact.

"...If everyone who shared your letter on social media, or who had a private conversation in their own homes with their daughters and sons, draws upon the passion, the outrage, and the commitment they feel right now the next time there is a choice between intervening and walking away — then I believe you will have helped to change the world for the better."

Head over to BuzzFeed to read Biden's full letter.