STATEMENT BY PEG SCHAFFER, SOMERSET COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CHAIR ON BRAMNICK LAW FIRM SEXUAL ASSAULT DEFENSE STRATEGY

 

 

 

I can’t believe I have to say this in 2019, but it is not OK for a law firm to use victim shaming as a defense strategy for clients accused of rape and sexual assault. Yet today we learned that the law firm headed by Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick not only uses such tactics, but promotes it publicly on its website to recruit potential clients.

Rape and sexual assault are some of the least reported crimes in no small part because women fear that they will have their own reputations harmed for the actions of another. Mr. Bramnick is advertising to any woman who has been raped by a man, or child abused by an adult they trust, that even if they justly accuse his client he will seek to turn the tables on them.  As a woman and an attorney, I find this appalling and wholly unacceptable.

Mr. Bramnick has taken the phrase “discredit your accuser” from the “Rape” and “Sexual Assault” pages of his website, but only after being publicly shamed himself. He must issue a public apology to the many victims of sexual assault in his district, including Watchung and Warren in Somerset County, and in fact everywhere. Even that is not enough, but it will at least be a start to repairing the damage he has done.

I invite Somerset County Deputy Freeholder Director Patricia Walsh, who pledged in May 2019 to speak up for the weak and abused, to join me in condemning this reprehensible behavior, and calling for a public apology.


connect