The following is a statement from Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center:
“Vice President Biden directly addressed the allegations before him head-on today — anyone running for office should do no less in the face of such serious claims. Even in the context of a presidential race, in fact especially in this context, the public is looking for leaders to be clear, transparent, and to have meaningful conversations around claims that are this serious.
It’s clear that our current systems and politics fall short. A presidential race that has barely touched on the many systemic changes that will actually be necessary to achieve change does a disservice to survivors. We must create spaces in all of our institutions where survivors can turn with claims of sexual misconduct, and we must focus on a survivor’s agenda, not a partisan one. That is what it means to ‘believe survivors’. It is a starting place to incite advocates, reporters, and lawmakers to demand more than what a broken system has to offer. It is not without process or next steps, nor is it just up to the ‘movement’ or token female figureheads to solve. It is our collective responsibility, and past good deeds by any of us cannot be a down payment for the failure of all of us to address the gaps that leave millions of survivors behind, denying them safety, accountability, and justice.”