Content warning: This article contains descriptions of rape/sexual assault.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden has been accused of sexual assault. Tara Reade, who worked as a staffer in Joe Biden's Senate office in the early 1990s made the claim in an exclusive interview with The Hill.
According to Reade,
"There were many obstacles... The biggest one was fear of retaliation... I received a great deal of retaliation in the workplace... I lost my job... I was too frightened then to talk about it and didn't really have the framework then how to come forward.
"He thought I was pretty and had nice legs...There was no relationship... He just made it clear he liked me...
"I was doing whatever I was doing at the office and the scheduler came in and said 'Joe wants you to bring this to him, hurry.' And it was his athletic bag...and so I was carrying it...
"And this is where I want to be frank with you and everyone. I have worked so hard to not remember this anymore that...there are spots where I just don't remember certain things. But I remember the assault itself and then the aftermath and the reverberating effects of that.
"I was walking to the capitol... we were in a semi-private place... he was at first talking to someone, they went away, and then he said, 'Come here.' And then when I gave him the gym bag it happened all in one motion almost and he had me against the wall and then his hands were down my skirt and up my skirt...he then, with his hands, he went from there and entered me with his hands... as he was trying to kiss me."
Reade, and others who have stepped up with accusations against Biden like Lucy Flores, have been shamed for standing up and speaking out.
While some others are coming out in support of her accusation.
However, even Time's Up, which was created to help people in situations just like this one, did not help Reade due to the status of the person who was being accused. According to The Intercept,
"... No assistance could be provided because the person she was accusing, Biden, was a candidate for federal office, and assisting a case against him could jeopardize the organization's nonprofit status."
One of the most major American presidential elections is looming in November and Joe Biden is likely going to be the Democratic nominee. Only time will tell where this situation leads for Biden. Right now, it seems people are split between believing that Reade is telling the truth and that she is just trying to take down the future Democratic nominee.
These claims are a vivid recognition that holding a position of power, for assaulters, often gives them the false sense that reality is in their hands and that they are allowed to do what it is they want to do to others. Sexual assault is a serious issue that has brought powerful people down from their ivory towers. As this news unfolds, we will wait to see how it all plays out.
If you or someone you know has been abused or needs help leaving an abusive situation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).