New Jerseyans deserve judicial representation that exhibits regard for sexual assault survivors

National Organization for Women of New Jersey applauds Governor Phil Murphy on his decision to deny tenure to Judge Marcia Silva of Middlesex County, NJ when her current term expires on January 21, 2021. NOW New Jersey had, in fact, called for her removal from the bench in July of 2019. New Jerseyans deserve jurists who empathize with victims and survivors of sexual assault, not the perpetrators who commit them.

Judge Silva refused to allow a sixteen-year-old rapist to be tried as an adult, arguing that “beyond losing her virginity,” the victim had not been shown to suffer any physical, mental or emotional injuries. A judge who displays total disregard for the damage done to a twelve-year-old survivor of sexual assault, undoubtedly for the rest of her life, should not be allowed to stay on the bench and render decisions that are clearly not trauma-informed.

“We should assume that anyone who is advocating for retaining Judge Silva on the bench condones her decision and remarks in the case where a minor was raped. There is no room for leniency or ambiguity when it comes to protecting our children,” said Anjali Mehrotra, President of NOW New Jersey. “It is not in keeping with our values; we must continue to speak out for justice for all survivors of sexual violence and hold all with the power to influence outcomes accountable.”

National Organization for Women of New Jersey seeks to end all forms of violence against women and girls. Thus, we feel strongly that we need representation in our elected officials and judiciary that will uphold the same values and argue on the right side of justice and the rights of survivors of sexual violence.


Download the press release here.