"I have never said these words before: good job, Florida."
April 9, 2015 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Samantha Bee of The Daily Show reports on women the effort to get legislature passed to protect rape survivors from seeing their rapists during custody visits (for rape survivors who bring their pregnancy to term) TRIGGER WARNING: Parenting with the Enemy. "

Michael Catalini at National Journal (June 19, 2014) - "In Some States, Rapists Have Custody Rights to Their Victims' Children"
"The legislation, written in the House by Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Sherrod Brown of Ohio in the Senate, doesn't go at the problem directly. Instead, it uses $25 million of grant money over five years to incentivize states to make changes to their laws. To qualify, the states must allow rape victims to seek to terminate rapists' parental rights, conditioned on clear and convincing evidence that rape occurred."
"Imagine You Were Raped. Got Pregnant. Then Your Rapist Sought Custody." - Dana Liebelson and Sydney Brownstone, Mother Jones (2012)
"Shauna Prewitt says it happened to her, in Akin's home state of Missouri. In 2004, Prewitt was in the midst of her senior year in college when she was allegedly raped. Nine months later, she gave birth to a baby girl, who today is seven and a half. Shortly after her daughter's birth, when Prewitt was pursuing charges against her accused rapist, he suddenly served her with papers requesting custody of their daughter. At first, Prewitt thought it was so ridiculous she laughed it off. Then, the truth sank in:

'I was struck with terror, not only with the idea of letting my child be around him, but also having to spend the next 18 years of my life tied to him,' she says."
Infographic: Worst States For Pregnant Rape Victims - Huffington Post (2013)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (31 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yay Missouri for having at least some protections in this circumstance.
posted by limeonaire at 12:41 PM on April 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I hate the United States. And I live in Missouri so like limeonaire said...
posted by damnitkage at 12:46 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why on earth would anyone be giving them custody? I want to say yay improvement but I'm too pissed off that the human race dares to force women already raped to deliver their children to therapists for visits I'm having a hard time finding my cheer and celebratory spirit. The women's shelter in my area talked about how sharing custody with abusers/rapists is the norm not the exception because that is what's for some horrific reason considered in the interests of children (here in Texas); and frequently if abusers/rapists have caused their partner to be coping with PTSD or health problems that interfere with work, they can get custody from the mother entirely. Humans are terrifying creatures, not only the rapists and abusers but the whole community of cruel people in power that support and empower them.
posted by xarnop at 12:47 PM on April 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


The women's shelter in my area talked about how sharing custody with abusers/rapists is the norm not the exception because that is what's for some horrific reason considered in the interests of children (here in Texas); and frequently if abusers/rapists have caused their partner to be coping with PTSD or health problems that interfere with work, they can get custody from the mother entirely.

The next time I run into an MRA guy who insists that women get preferential treatment when it comes to childrens' custody battles, I am going to take these words, paint them onto a nail-studded board, and JAM IT DOWN HIS THROAT.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:51 PM on April 9, 2015 [26 favorites]


Jesus. That Worst States... infographic. I can't even...

WTF, America???
posted by Thorzdad at 12:52 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, if a woman decides to carry to term and then declines to put the rapist's name on the birth certificate in order to attempt to keep him from trying to claim custody, she is effectively indemnifying him from charges for the rape?
posted by vignettist at 12:57 PM on April 9, 2015


A Republican state representative in New Mexico introduced a bill Wednesday that classified abortions for rape victims as "tampering with evidence," effectively requiring women to carry their pregnancies to term in order to prove their case in a sexual assault trial.

This bill will not pass, as Democrats control both chambers of New Mexico's state legislature, but there are plenty of other state laws that extend the nightmare for women who are impregnated through rape.


Fuck you, unnamed New Mexico Republican.
posted by maryr at 12:58 PM on April 9, 2015 [17 favorites]


From the Sam Bee piece: "I know. The stick can be tempting."
posted by amanda at 1:01 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Aw fer pity's sake, why don't they just put up billboards that say WE HATE WOMEN?
posted by Mooski at 1:04 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Fuck you, unnamed New Mexico Republican.

Fixed.
posted by Fizz at 1:07 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


They're not unnamed, and to make matters worse, the NM state rep in question is a woman.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:11 PM on April 9, 2015


I can't even... There are so many comments I want to make here, but the end-result is, I'd rather just repeatedly smash my keyboard into the desk as hard as I possibly can.

So that's my comment. Furious keyboard smashing (mixed with tears of frustration).
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 1:12 PM on April 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


Dammit.
posted by cooker girl at 1:12 PM on April 9, 2015


New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortions After Rape As 'Tampering With Evidence'
A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill on Wednesday that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial.

House Bill 206, introduced by state Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R), would charge a rape victim who ended her pregnancy with a third-degree felony for "tampering with evidence."

...

UPDATE: 12:25 p.m. -- Brown said in a statement Thursday that she introduced the bill with the goal of punishing the person who commits incest or rape and then procures or facilitates an abortion to destroy the evidence of the crime.

“New Mexico needs to strengthen its laws to deter sex offenders,” said Brown. “By adding this law in New Mexico, we can help to protect women across our state.”
posted by disconnect at 1:15 PM on April 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's the same article from the FPP, and her "clarification" ignored the fact that the actual wording of the bill criminalized both the rapist and the woman who he impregnated.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:20 PM on April 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, FWIW, Brown (who is directly involved in the anti-choice movement) later went back and "tweaked" the bill after it caused national embarrassment:
In the bill’s newly gussied up language, it specifies that “a person who commits sexual penetration or incest and who procures an abortion of a fetus resulting from the crime with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime is guilty of tampering with evidence, prohibiting prosecution of the mother of the fetus … In no circumstance shall the mother of the fetus be charged.” So if you’re a rapist and you try to get your victim to have an abortion, you’re in trouble. Because that happens every day. Brown’s apparent interest in protecting women should be taken within the context of her other pursuits, however, like serving on the board of Carlsbad’s Right to Life chapter, and posting images from the Life Issues Institute on her Facebook page. The Institute describes its mission as “assuring … equal protection under the law for all living humans from the beginning of their biological life at fertilization.”
posted by zombieflanders at 1:26 PM on April 9, 2015


I was skeptical of doing a story like this in the context of a "hurf-durf can't approach anything serious too hard so let's awkwardly shoehorn in a really corny joke to break the tension" daily show piece but it actually wasn't bad.

Sometimes I think the concept of states rights was a bad idea and we should just forget it.
posted by bleep at 1:26 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm just in trying to cool off from working in the humidity right now, and all of this is literally making my eyes cross. How... how are people the way they are?
posted by cmoj at 1:28 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


United States of America protecting freedom and the pursuit of happiness for men since 1776.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 1:31 PM on April 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Christ. Imagine being that kid, too--imagine growing up amid the conflict of your mother desperately trying to avoid her rapist as much as she can, and oh by the way your existence only happened because he had sex she didn't wanted. You hope she lived in a place where she could have chosen otherwise if she'd wanted to do that.

Even if the mother did her best to insulate the kid from it--which I'm sure she would--that's... not a good dynamic to grow up in, I think. Christ. Not everyone's biological daddy is going to bring happy joy and security to a kid's life, lawmakers--maybe "raped your mom" is a pretty good litmus test for not mandating his presence.
posted by sciatrix at 1:38 PM on April 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortions After Rape As 'Tampering With Evidence'
A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill on Wednesday that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial.


This line of reasoning -- I am using the word 'reasoning' very loosely here -- suggests that rape that does not result in pregnancy is pretty much okay; I suppose other than a fetus, there could be no damning evidence.

I remarked once before on the blue that I had read in medieval times that while physicians had connected male orgasm and ejaculation to pregnancy, a false equivalency led many to believe that female orgasm would also be necessary for conception; thus a guilty verdict in a rape trial would be overturned if the victim was pregnant, because that demonstrated that she had participated willingly.

tl;dr -- The Republican Party: Building A Bridge To The Fourteenth Century.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:39 PM on April 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Sometimes I think the concept of states rights was a bad idea and we should just forget it.

A lot of things would be easier if all laws were federal laws and states only existed as administrative conveniences. Even for non-controversial things, it's kind of nuts that I have to get a new drivers license, re-register my car, re-register to vote, etc, for a move from one state to another in the same nation. I'd be happy to go full on extreme federalist except for my fear that when the GOP takes over the presidency, there'll be no safe haven.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:09 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Except we're not guaranteed any safe haven anyway. For whatever reason they can fuck up whatever they want when they're in control only limited by their own incompetence.
posted by bleep at 2:15 PM on April 9, 2015


Where I live abortion is illegal, even in the case of rape and incest. So there are already many women forced to carry their pregnancy to term. The mother of my high school best friend was adopted as she was the result of rape. It's a horrible legacy to live with. The idea that on top of that burden women could be forced to see their rapist gaining custody rights is literally the stuff of nightmares. What the actual holy fuck?
posted by billiebee at 2:16 PM on April 9, 2015


A Republican state representative in New Mexico introduced a bill Wednesday that classified abortions for rape victims as "tampering with evidence,"...

Here's the thing...These small-time brownshirts don't think up these things on their own. They aren't that smart. Bills like that, as well as crap like the "religious freedom" bills making the rounds, are the product of a conservative thinktank somewhere. THOSE are the fuckers that need to be ferreted-out and inundated with ridicule and scorn.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:18 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


are the product of a conservative thinktank somewhere

Somewhere? It's called ALEC.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:22 PM on April 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


Completely agree with you Thorzdad, but I'm also absolutely comfortable ridiculing and scorning both.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:23 PM on April 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortions After Rape As 'Tampering With Evidence'

This might possibly be the worst thing I've ever heard in my entire life.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 4:00 PM on April 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


United States of America protecting freedom and the pursuit of happiness for men since 1776.

Well yeah it's right there in the text.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
posted by winna at 5:08 PM on April 9, 2015


frequently if abusers/rapists have caused their partner to be coping with PTSD or health problems that interfere with work, they can get custody from the mother entirely.

Yes. The court system, from what I understand, is not particularly well-informed about the effects of abuse (and domestic violence often includes sexual assault) or the tactics that abusers use to appear to be "the reasonable one" while terrorizing their partners/victims and making them look like "the crazy one." Gaining custody is one more way for the abuser to "win" or gain power over his victim, so many abusive people pursue it even when they have no actual interest in parenting. I've worked with assault survivors who were literally shaking, constantly, and having frequent flashbacks up to a week before any custody court appointment because they'd have to face their rapist; I can't imagine that they'd look particularly trustworthy as a parent in front of those judges.
posted by jaguar at 5:26 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've been with my particular dude for six years now. He is only just starting to register the horror that is being female in general. He is empathetic and smart and caring, and he has no idea yet.
posted by lauranesson at 4:39 PM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


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