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January 22, 2018

Tammy Murphy shares story of sexual assault at N.J. Women's March

Politics Rallies
tammy murphy women's march Bob Karp/The Record via USA TODAY NETWORK

New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy takes the stage to speak on the Morristown Green as thousands march through Morristown for the Women's March on New Jersey, one of the hundreds of events conducted around the nation to mark the one-year anniversary of the 2017 Women's March on Washington, the largest single-day protest in American history.

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.”

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.