January 22, 2018
With former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie newly out of office, his successor Gov. Phil Murphy has officially taken the title. The shift in power, also means New Jersey also new first lady: Tammy Murphy.
Over the weekend Murphy made one of her first big public appearances since her husband took office, appearing at the Women's March in Morristown, NJ. Taking to the stage early in the day, she shared with the crowd her own experiences with sexual violence and publicly joined the #MeToo movement.
During her address, she described in detail an assault she suffered as a student at the University of Virginia. As a sophomore, she said, she was walking when a man pulled her behind a bush and tried to undress her, attempting to stuff her mouth with an apple to silence her.
Murphy told the crowd she managed to bite her assailant’s hand and flee the scene, running to a nearby fraternity house where the police were called. The assailant did not face charges.
“Until today, only a few have heard my story,” Murphy said.
“Now, you all know. I tell this today not for me, but really for all of you. Surely, among us is a woman who has been silent about her own story.”
If there has been a silver lining in the past year, it is in the thousands upon thousands of women who have found their voices to fight back. We will no longer accept the actions of men who believe they hold power over us, or our bodies. #womensmarchnj pic.twitter.com/nVCNd7rGxS— Tammy Murphy (@FirstLadyNJ) January 20, 2018
Before speaking, she was introduced by her husband, who took the opportunity to discuss his executive order on equal pay for women.
The governor's executive order draws a stark contrast from Christie, who vetoed a bill that would have banned gender-based salary discrimination in 2016. He said the bill would have made New Jersey “very business unfriendly” and conflict with federal standards.