Statement on Tara Reade’s Allegation Against Former Vice President Joe Biden

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“Our nation is going through a transformational moment around how we handle accusations of sexual harassment and assault, and how we create a culture where women and all people are no longer afraid to come forward.

This movement has been led by women of color who are often on the front lines of moving our country and our consciousness into the future. Because of their work and the work of so many other activists, as part of the MeToo and TIME’S UP movements, we are finally hearing the stories of those who have been silenced. This is a good thing and we should not go backwards.

Believing survivors means that they deserve to be heard and they deserve, as all human beings do, to be treated with respect and dignity. And Tara Reade is no exception. These beliefs do not contradict the need for justice or a fair process.

It was an important first step that former Vice President Joe Biden came out on national television to address these allegations. Before these allegations surfaced, Biden had spoken about being more respectful and thoughtful in his personal interactions. As a leader and role model, Biden now has an opportunity to continue to own past behavior, show how he has evolved and talk about how he will address these important issues if he were elected president of our country. This is an opportunity to model how we can create an environment focused on repairing harm, promoting healing and restoration, and moving all of us forward.

At the same time, our country is suffering under the well-documented racist and sexist leadership of President Trump. His continued disregard for women, our bodies and our personal autonomy is evident in both his personal interactions and his public policies. As we face the crisis that is coronavirus, we strongly believe that he is not fit for office and that he is dangerous to the lives of women and our families.

As an organization we will continue to work toward a more equitable society that ensures that those who are most marginalized and most impacted by structural racism and discrimination have an opportunity to thrive — and we expect our leaders to uphold those values.”

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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