Vice President Joe Biden has written an open letter to the anonymous woman who was raped by former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner last year. The victim’s testimony in court — in which she read aloud from her victim impact statement — went viral and made Turner and his crime against an unconscious woman notorious.
Buzzfeed reported on Thursday that Biden titled the letter An Open Letter to a Courageous Young Woman and in it, the vice president said how much he admires the assault survivor’s courage in letting the details of the crime become public.
“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,” Biden said. “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 has been long been an advocate of women’s rights. In 1994, then-Sen. Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act. He has been active in public awareness campaigns aimed at educating men about domestic violence like the White House’s “It’s On Us” campaign.
His full letter is printed below:
An Open Letter to a Courageous Young Woman
I do not know your name—but your words are forever seared on my soul. 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.
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.
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.