US Vice President praises woman who read victim impact statement to attacker in court
US Vice President Joe Biden has written an open letter to the woman who was sexually assaulted by Stanford University student Brock Turner.
The anonymous woman’s victim impact statement went viral over the weekend, sparking outrage over the six-month jail sentence handed down to her attacker.
Turner, a former star swimmer, had faced up to 14 years in prison but was deemed not to be “a danger to others” by the judge who presided over the trial.
In a statement read at the hearing, the victim described how the January 2015 attack had left her feeling empty and isolated.
“I am not just a drunk victim at a frat party found behind a dumpster, while you are the All American swimmer at a top university, innocent until proven guilty, with so much at stake,” she wrote.
“I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt, my life was put on hold for over a year, waiting to figure out if I was worth something.
“My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition.”
Biden said in a response to her statement that he was “filled with furious anger” over the case.
"You were failed by a culture on our college campuses where one in five women is sexually assaulted - year after year after year," he wrote in a letter sent to Buzzfeed.
“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.”
Read the full letter on Buzzfeed here.