New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault Jointly Hosting Public Hearings on Sexual Harassment

Hearings will invite public participation and remarks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2019.

TRENTON, N.J. – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced today that the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) and the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) are partnering to host three public hearings on sexual harassment, to develop a better understanding of how the Garden State can combat sexual harassment in our workplaces, in housing, and in places of public accommodation.

The hearings will take place:

  • September 11, 2019, at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, N.J. from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • September 24, 2019 at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center in Hackensack, N.J. from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • September 25, 2019 at the All Wars Memorial Building in Atlantic City, N.J. from 6 p.m. – 8 pm.

Anna María Farías, the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will deliver opening remarks at the September 11 hearing. Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal will deliver opening remarks at the September 24 hearing.

“Sexual harassment has no place in the workplace, in housing, or anywhere else,” said Attorney General Grewal. “But, regrettably, in 2019, sexual harassment still remains all too common. I hope that the hearings sponsored by the Division on Civil Rights and the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault will provide an opportunity for frank discussion about the problem and how we can best address it, as individuals and as members of our communities.”

“Sexual harassment is pervasive and has impacted far too many New Jerseyans for too long,” said Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director of NJCASA. “These hearings will address sexual harassment in the workplace and in housing directly and allow community members to share how we can be better at addressing harassment when it happens, preventing it before it starts, and crafting policy recommendations that are responsive to people’s lived experiences. We thank Attorney General Grewal for his continued dedication to creating a safer New Jersey for survivors of sexual violence and the Division on Civil Rights for their continued partnership.”

“Sexual harassment is ubiquitous—it affects people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, immigration status, or disability,” said Rachel Wainer Apter, Director of the Division on Civil Rights. “And silence is a huge part of the problem. The purpose of these hearings is to end the silence—to allow victims to come forward to share their stories and to allow experts to share what we can do, in terms of law and policy, to prevent and address sexual harassment at work, in housing, and in places of public accommodation.”

“For too long, sexual harassment has been dismissed, discounted or even accepted as a part of life that one must endure.  Victims have been silenced and offenders empowered,” said Anna Martinez, Director of the Division on Women in the Department of Children and Families. “Survivor-led advocacy groups have courageously shone a bright light on the pervasiveness of the problem and the long-term trauma that can result from being victimized. These hearings are about sustaining awareness, exploring solutions and advancing recommendations that promote equity and justice for New Jersey residents.”

The hearings will include remarks from experts, including leaders from various fields (labor unions, advocacy organizations, academia, community organizations, businesses, sexual violence service providers, etc.), and open time for members of the public to speak.

The public hearings aim to:

  1. Document why action is needed to combat sexual harassment in N.J.;
  2. Provide an opportunity for victims and survivors of sexual harassment to be heard;
  3. Allow experts from various fields to share insights regarding the scope of the problem and what can be done to address it;
  4. Inform a final report of recommendations, to be co-written by DCR, NJCASA, and the Rutgers Law School International Human Rights Clinic.

To find out more, go to

ABOUT NJCASA: NJCASA ( is the statewide technical assistance, and capacity building organization that represents New Jersey’s twenty-one county-based rape crisis centers, and the Rutgers University Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance. NJCASA elevates the voice of sexual violence survivors and service providers by advocating for survivor-centered legislation, training allied professionals, and supporting statewide prevention strategies that work to address and defy the socio-cultural norms that permit and promote rape culture.