New Jersey Democratic State Committee Vice Chair Peg Schaffer is calling on Assembly Minority Leader John Bramnick (R-21) to apologize to his constituents as well as all women in the state after a news report revealed language on Bramnick’s professional law firm website that attacked survivors of sexual assault. Bramnick’s website promises to “discredit accusers,” and suggests that women report rape because of “hurt feelings” or “confusion.”
Bramnick has thus far refused to apologize for his offensive website, first defending it to NJ.com as “what defense attorneys do,” before later seeking to distance himself from the post to NorthJersey.com by saying he had not written it, with a law partner blaming it on a web designer.
“Jon Bramnick’s sales pitch to accused rapists shows how remarkably out of touch he is,” said Vice Chair Schaffer, who is also a practicing attorney. “We should all speak out against any culture that treats survivors of sexual abuse with this kind of outright contempt. As an elected official and an attorney, Assemblyman Bramnick should be ashamed that he allowed his name to be directly connected to this hurtful rhetoric. The fact that he’s not just refusing to apologize but actually doubling down should be a clear signal to the people of the 21st District that it’s time for new leadership.”
Bramnick’s website has drawn widespread criticism, ranging from Governor Phil Murphy who called it “disgusting and unacceptable,” to Bramnick’s Democratic opponents Lisa Mandelblatt and Stacey Gunderman who said it “has no place in modern society,” to prominent advocates for sexual assault survivors who decried it as having a chilling effect that could make women less likely to report rape to law enforcement.