The rage and disappointment around the Brock Turner Stanford rape case only gets worse with each day — on Thursday (June 9), the Associated Press found that Turner's six month sentence has been reduced to just three months.
While it's easy to get caught up in the infuriating nature of this case, it's important to remember the 23-year-old victim who so bravely read her moving letter directly to her abuser.
"As the author Anne Lamott once wrote, 'Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining,'" the victim said. "Although I can’t save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you.
To girls everywhere, I am with you."
She spoke, and many listened, including vice president Joe Biden.
On Thursday, the VP sent a response to the victim, published by BuzzFeed News.
Here's an excerpt, though you can — and should — read the full letter here. Prepare for even more tears:
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.
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.
You are a warrior — with a solid steel spine.
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.
Anyone at that party who saw that you were incapacitated yet looked the other way and did not offer assistance. Anyone who dismissed what happened to you as “just another crazy night.” Anyone who asked “what did you expect would happen when you drank that much?” or thought you must have brought it on yourself.
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.
"And so, I believe, you will save lives," Biden added. "I do not know your name — but I will never forget you."