Abuses at Newark Airport Not Just Hazing – They’re Sexual Violence

Reported Incidents Raise Concerns for Sexual Violence Advocates 

Newark, N.J. – Reported incidents of assaults of Custom and Border Patrol agents at the Newark Airport by more senior officials are more than hazing – they are sexual violence.

“Make no mistake: these reported incidents constitute sexual violence,” said Patricia Teffenhart, executive director of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “Hazing and sexual violence undoubtedly co-occur, but what is being reported by agents at the Newark Airport should be investigated as sexual abuse. At its core, sexual violence is about power and control – both of which appear to be in play in this situation.”

Three U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents working at Newark Liberty International Airport reported repeated abuse by more senior officials, including severe groping, physical intimation with the use of weapons, and other offenses. The Customs and Border Patrol Agency confirmed that Department of Homeland Security is conducting an investigation.

Recent data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 26.2% of women and 13.7% of men living in New Jersey report experiencing unwanted sexual contact.