Rapists Should Have No Right to ‘Daddy’ Status  

by Diane Dimond on August 8, 2016

Okay, ready to be outraged? 

Here’s the scenario:  A woman says she has been raped. She makes a police report, undergoes the humiliating rape kit testing procedure and names the man she says sexually attacked her. Later she discovers she has become pregnant from that attack. The police may or may not have charged the suspect with a crime at this point, but the man’s lawyer is already hard at work. He does a little background digging on the woman and discovers there is a baby on the way. 

Should a Rapist Retain His Parental Rights to a Child Born of the Attack?

Should a Rapist Keep His Parental Rights to a Child Born of the Attack?

Next step? The man sends word that he will assert his parental rights to be a part of the child’s life for the next 18 years unless the victim drops her criminal complaint and refuses to testify against him. 

Imagine, 18 years during which this woman would be required to take the child to regular prison visits. Or if the man is never charged – which has happened far more often that the public realizes — she’s staring at 18 years of shared custody and face-to-face co-parenting with the man who raped her. 

Should a Victim Be Forced to Visit her Rapist With His Baby?

Should a Victim Be Forced to Visit her Rapist With His Baby?

What should this woman do? Does she push forward and testify to spare society a rapist on the street – even if that will subject her child to 18 years of anxiety? A better question: Why is a victim put in this defensive position in the first place?

You might be wondering how many women find themselves in this situation. Well, the short answer is that no one really knows.  The majority of rapes in the U.S. are not reported and there have only been a couple of decades-old studies done on the topic of rape and pregnancy. The findings varied – from about 17,000 to 32,000 rape pregnancies per year — with about a third of the women choosing to give birth.

Rapevic STOP on palm

Let’s Stop Requiring Victims Stay Connected to Their Rapists

Whatever the figure may be today even one rape victim coerced into an unwanted parental relationship with her rapist is one too many. So what are states doing to protect these women? 

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures nearly three dozen states and the District of Columbia currently allow courts to terminate or restrict the parental rights of rapists, but most of them require the man first be convicted. Exact information is hard to come, by but between 15 and 18 states have no laws in place to protect victims from their rapists who are seeking co-custody or visitation.

Remember Ariel Castro, that kidnapping creep in Cleveland who snatched young girls and held them captive for years in his boarded up home? After they escaped, while Castro was behind bars, he had the gall to ask for visitation rights with a 6-year-old girl he fathered with one of his victims! Even though Ohio requires a conviction before parental rights are taken away the judge in that case, Cuyahoga County Judge Michael Russo, had the good sense to deny Castro’s hideous request.

Castro Felt Entitled to See His Child - Then Committed Suicide in Jail

Castro Felt Entitled to See His Child/Victim – Then Committed Suicide in Jail

Bravo! And may judges across the land use their good judgement to decide these cases, no matter what the law is in their particular state. 

There are thousands of rape pregnancy cases I could cite. One involved a 14-year-old girl in Massachusetts impregnated by her 20-year-old rapist. And, Shauna Prewitt, of Chicago is one of the rare victims to go public with her story. She was raped and impregnated during her senior year in college.

Rape Victim Prewitt Kept Her Baby and Fought Prison Visitation

Rape Victim Prewitt Kept Her Baby and Fought Prison Visitation

As she was pursing charges against the man he suddenly served her with papers demanding custody of Prewitt’s infant daughter. The ensuing court battle was a nightmare. Today Prewitt is a custody rights attorney in Chicago fighting for all states to pass legislation denying sexual predators parental rights. Prewitt acknowledges she has critics. especially those who fear wrongfully accused men could be denied their Constitutional rights. 

“I’ll hear, ‘how do we know that a woman isn’t just going to cry rape in order to take custody rights away from a good man?’” Prewitt told the television program Inside Edition. “There are multiple answers to that. There’s always potential for people to abuse laws, but our country has never been afraid of passing a law because there’s the potential to abuse it,” Prewitt said.

On the federal level, the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act was passed and signed into law in May 2016. It awards money to states that enact legislation that benefits rape victims caught up in this awful cycle.

Yet some states continue to lag behind, stubbornly refusing to curb the rights of those who sexually prey on others, even when it can’t possibly be in the best interest of the child.

And, isn’t that what it is all about?

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane Dimond August 8, 2016 at 6:32 pm

Twitter Pal YIELD CURVE@yieldcurve23 writes:

“@DiDimond Sad and sick that the victim get to be re-victimized by the system. Needs to change.”

Reply

Diane Dimond August 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm

Facebook Friend Stacy Brown writes:

“What??? This is an outrage to say the least!”

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Diane Dimond August 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm

Facebook Friend Lynn Lancaster writes:

” WTH???????”

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Diane Dimond August 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Facebook Friend Gordon Hamel writes:

“Rapists should not live to see a child born.”

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Diane Dimond August 8, 2016 at 6:37 pm

Facebook Friend Jackie Morin writes:

“It’s almost laughable! I would love to know that stats on how many rapists even pursue such rights. How do they know their victims are even pregnant?”

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Diane Dimond August 8, 2016 at 6:38 pm

DD replies:

Read the column, Jackie. When the woman goes to press charges the rapist-suspects counters with the threat to invoke his “parental rights.” Not wanting the creep in her life for 18 years while the child matures the victim sometimes just drops the charges…Check out the whole piece!

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Diane Dimond August 8, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Facebook Friend Jerry Palace writes:

“That’s beyond disgusting. They should have rights and a few lefts…”

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Diane Dimond August 8, 2016 at 6:48 pm

Facebook Friend Fred Mizzi writes:

“Then the law in those states should be changed! Hell every time theres a shooting in California they pass a new law that the criminals dont follow!”

Reply

Diane Dimond August 8, 2016 at 6:49 pm

Facebook Friend Gordon Hamel replies:

“See my reply above – no need for new or old laws.”

Reply

jeff liddell August 8, 2016 at 7:43 pm

The solution here is obvious, rape is forced sex without the consent of the woman, even if the couple are married, therefore pregnancy decisions by the woman raped should be at her sole discretion. Never heard of a pregnancy being the intended outcome of a rape.

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Patrick Cappadocia August 11, 2016 at 10:47 am

So if a woman has sex with a severely intoxicated or underage male he should not be liable for child support?

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Facebook Friend Denise Conroy writes:

“OMG! The scum who does this should have NO rights! But they do anyway! The garbage who did this to me are out like nothing happened and I’m left with the living with it all.”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Gordon Hamel replies:
“I am sorry to hear of your plight — do you have the names and location of the vermin — I will be happy to pass along the info to some friends of mine.

Reply

Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Denise Conroy replies:

“I do and they’re still here!!!! Did less than 3 years. Got out on GOOD BEHAVIOR of all things!!”

Reply

Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Facebook Friend Angela N Baskerville writes:

“Another problem is that if the mother receives any type of government assistance, the AG will come in and file a paternity suit to get a child support order. That definitely ignites a sudden interest in the guy to pursue visitation.”

Reply

Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Facebook Friend Bill Voinovich writes:

“Sorry, but I don’t think so……..
If you commit rape, you’re entitled to ONE STATUS, and ONE STATUS ONLY…..
PERMANENTLY NEUTERED……..
By the GIRL’S PARENTS……

Reply

Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Facebook Friend Catherine Whitney writes:

” An outrage”

Reply

Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Facebook Friend Alan Fountain writes:

“That is insane and any relationship should only be at the discretion of the child once they turn 18 whether to engage in a relationship. Paternity rights should be based on when 2 consenting adults engage in any act understanding procreation is a potential outcome
, otherwise all rights should be left to the mother exclusively. Possibly concessions made if an existing history of sex between the individuals had been established. It should be clearly rape absent ambiguity of the relationship to have clear loss of rights by a rapist although I think a rapist should have to pay compensation to the system for needed care of child absent paternal rights and distributed to the mother.”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Facebook Friend Robert B. Reno writes:

“Thanks for posting this”

Reply

Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:22 pm

Facebook Friend Ralph V. Logan writes:

“This is crazy”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Facebook Friend Phil Brodsky writes:

“this is absolutely ridiculous!”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Facebook Friend Kim Winton writes:

“Disgusting. No other word for it.”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Facebook Friend Sarah Kardashian writes:

” It’s horrible”

Reply

Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Facebook Friend Jim Reynolds writes:

“The rapist should have been beheaded or met his end by firing squad.”

Reply

Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Facebook Friend Coz Whitten-Skaife writes:

“Shaunua Prewitt is a hero. She took a terrible situation for herself and her baby and decided to go try and change the world. Wow.”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Facebook Friend Drew Rutberg writes:

“To me it sounds like being victimized again”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Facebook Friend Steph Watts writes:

“ahhhhh NO!”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Facebook Friend Carey Smith writes:

“Not for a second, not EVER! I cannot imagine how any judge thinks otherwise. That is sickening.”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Facebook Friend Don Diego writes:

” It’s not only inconceivable, it’s downright Insane and Evil of the Justice System.”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Facebook Friend Sandy Frank Sanchez writes:

“I was wondering how many women actually carry the rapists baby.This is so disturbing on every level.”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Facebook Friend Claudia Ordonez writes;

“Great role models huh? Some states are full of legislative idiots.”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Facebook Friend Anne Redford-Hall writes:

“It happens daily, across the country. Commonplace allowance that re-victimizes until the child is 18.”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Facebook Friend Jane Gold Schneck Nichols writes:

“I don’t comment very often but this is ridiculous!”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Facebook Friend Elaine Mihara writes:

“Am I shocked? Yes. Surprised? No.”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Facebook Friend Wayne Walker writes:

“Castration is the only right a rapist deserves.”

Reply

Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Facebook Friend Logan Crawford writes:

“The idea of a true rape victim forced to give parental rights to her attacker is grotesque. But what if an embittered mom – and there are many – uses a false claim of rape to deny the father parental rights?”

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Diane Dimond August 9, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Logan,

I believe it is much harder for a married woman to claim rape and see a conviction. She would have to have reported the alleged attack/rape at the time it occurred – (and undergone a rape kit test and photographs of her injuries) – not 9 months or more later – for anyone to take her seriously. ~ DD

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Diane Dimond August 10, 2016 at 11:09 am

Facebook Friend Lillie Vaden writes:

“Not fair!”

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Diane Dimond August 10, 2016 at 11:09 am

Facebook Friend Donna Grenon writes:

“Over my dead body”

Reply

Diane Dimond August 10, 2016 at 11:10 am

Facebook Friend Roy Merritt writes:

“If any politician supports this travesty they should be removed asap. Any rapist that tries to do this should be billed for every penny for child support, and all state monies, and every penny they get must go to the victim.”

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Diane Dimond August 10, 2016 at 11:11 am

Facebook Friend Arlene Dahlstrom writes:

“It’s totally NUTS!!!!”

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Greg Allan August 11, 2016 at 1:43 am

Woman who raped a fourteen year old boy in my town was set free by the courts recently because the judge didn’t want to separate her from her children.

Had she become pregnant she would now be collecting child support from her victim. This is routine in English speaking countries.

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Onyx August 11, 2016 at 3:23 am

So when a woman rapes her student and gets pregnant, it is just as outrageous that she sues get victim for child support right. Well that actually happened and guess what the bitch won. So thank you feminism for being about that gender equality. Hypocrites.

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Patrick C. August 11, 2016 at 10:25 am

So it’s reasonable to argue that a male who has had unconsentual sex should not be required to pay child support to the woman who raped him?

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Diane Dimond August 18, 2016 at 5:38 pm

ABQ Journal reader DK writes:

“Good Morning.

I read something you wrote in our local newspaper Albuquerque Journal dated 8/6/2016. The article is. “Denying parental rights to rapists.”

THANKS SO MUCH FOR WRITING THIS

Back in 1984 I was raped, in Feb of 1985 I gave birth to a little boy due to the rape.
I decided to give that child a better chance at a better life and gave him up for adoption.
I am now 53 years old and have 2 wonderful daughters.

In order to allow the adoption to go through and have the rapist give up his rights (I knew him) I had to drop the charges against him otherwise he would fight to keep him.
The pain of doing this was so horrible, but I knew in my heart it was best for the child.

People do not know how painful this is to go through even years later.

If you ever want to do an article on something like this I will speak to you and give you the side of the birth mom

You touched me in so many ways. Thanks so much for shining a light on this subject.

DK

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