Beau Biden did everything in his power to stand up and speak out for victims. April 19-25, 2020 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. We would like to share what Beau did to further victims’ rights — and drives our mission to protect children and confront abuse. Here are some very kind words about just that from Debra McCall Reed, Director of Victim Services for the Delaware State Police and Delaware Victim Center:
I first met Beau Biden before he became Delaware’s Attorney General. The Delaware State Police, Victim Services and Domestic Violence Units, sponsored an annual “Domestic Violence Awareness Motorcycle Ride” during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to bring awareness and provide resources surrounding the issue of domestic abuse and other forms of victimization.
Beau Biden was present for the “third annual” event and expressed a true interest in the fight against domestic violence. He sent me a handwritten letter afterward which I have always held on to. He stated, in his letter, that the fight against domestic violence would be a priority of his. He further suggested that we have a conversation so that he could learn more about my role in victim services and how we could “work together”.
True to his word, those conversations did happen, and we served on several victim-related meetings together. Little did either of us know, only a few short years later, he would be “put to the test” regarding his promise to support victims and to make it a priority.
In 2009, the unthinkable happened. A joint investigation revealed that hundreds of children had been sexually abused at the hands of their pediatrician, someone who should have been able to be trusted by children and parents alike.
In his role as Attorney General, Beau Biden went into action quickly in response to this horrific finding. He immediately held a press conference to be sure that the public was aware of what was known and provided resources and contact information so that there was a safe place for families to call to report and/or receive support and resources.
He made sure that all victim service programs, regardless of agency, combined resources in a collaborative effort to be sure that families were getting the support they needed. He held community meetings to keep families and the public updated. He opened a temporary “homelike” office in the community so that families and/or the public had a place that they could go to speak with various agency representatives and to obtain medical records. He was personally involved. I personally witnessed, while in a family waiting room of the courthouse, him providing his personal cell phone number to all of the family members who were present. He invited them to call him directly and promised that he would do his best to support them or find the appropriate agency who could.
Because of his true interest in serving victims, he had already built the necessary relationships with victim service programs, like mine, so he was prepared with the resources needed to respond to such a horrible crisis.
I was very proud to work beside Beau Biden in our common goal of addressing victim rights and providing supportive services. He was extremely passionate about protecting the rights of victims, especially the most vulnerable populations, children and the elderly. He stayed true to his word and lead by example. His memory lives on in the great works of the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children.