Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle Statement on New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s Plans to Prevent Sexual Assault and Harassment

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce has just announced that it will be taking additional steps to prevent sexual harassment during the upcoming Walk to Washington in February.

While I applaud any organization who wishes to make a difference in eliminating rape culture and reducing the rate of sexual assault and harassment, I believe that some of the Chamber’s response is misguided by the very culture we are trying to eradicate.

Let’s be clear: alcohol, whether it is beer, wine or hard liquor does not cause sexual harassment or assault, sexual predators do.

We’ve seen this argument before, that we should ban alcohol, especially hard alcohol, on college campuses to stop the epidemic of college sexual assault.

The issue of sexual harassment and assault in politics and in our society at large is one that cannot be solved overnight. It is for this reason that I thank the Chamber of Commerce for including in their plans increased sexual harassment training for staff as well as an increase in the number of security personnel during the Chamber Trip.

At the end of the day, individuals who do not respect a person’s boundaries or bodily autonomy will harass and assault others because they want to, liquid courage does not change this fact.