After having been passed unanimously by the Illinois House and Senate, the Termination of Parental Rights of Perpetrators of Sexual Assault Act is now law in Illinois. The new law, which takes effect on January 1, 2014, “[p]rovides that a person is not entitled to custody of or visitation with a child without the consent of the child’s mother or guardian if the person is found by clear and convincing evidence to have committed an act of non-consensual sexual penetration for his conduct in fathering that child and provides that the child’s mother or guardian may decline support and maintenance obligations from such a father.”

After all these months of failure to deal with pension reform, it’s nice to know that my state government can actually do something right.

Comments

  1. David Gonzalez says:

    Why is this pointed soley at men? “[p]rovides that a person is not entitled to custody of or visitation with a child without the consent of the child’s mother or guardian ” Why does it not say parents or guardian? It seems to imply that only women will be awarded custody and that only men would perpetrate acts of non-consensual sexual penetration. This is wrong.

  2. Andrew Fletcher says:

    They seem to be under the the impression that women do no wrong and it is deemed ok to separate father and child but to separate mother and child totally unacceptable its just sexism but its ok it doesn’t adversely affect women so its ok its “positive discrimination ” .

  3. I wasn’t involved in drafting the law, but I would imagine that it’s because there is a known problem of women being raped, getting pregnant, and then being threatened with loss of custody or continued forced contact with their rapist if they bear and raise the child. The way that this adds to pressure to abort should be clear, so it’s relevant to pro-lifers.

    I don’t think it implies that only women are raped, or that women can do no wrong, or any of that. The bill addresses one aspect of rape, one which is known to have serious consequences and which enough people finally became aware of and upset about to demand this legislation (thank you Todd Akin, I guess). That it only addresses this one circumstance doesn’t mean others don’t exist.

  4. @ Jen

    The reason why the previous posters are calling out the sexism of this law is because it does not address by far the most likely scenario in which a rapist receives custody of a child.

    That is when a rapist is female and her rape victim male. In fact in this scenario not only is a rapist afforded custody over the child she conceived via rape, she is also often granted child support from her victim.

    I have read heart-rending stories of men raped by women via various methods from legal blackmail (“I’ll tell the cops you raped me!”) to physical force via weapons to using incapacitation due to sickness or alcohol or statutory rape who then have to deal with a child they have no access to and must leave to be raised by the rapist who has custody.

    One man spent years cultivating a positive relationship with the woman who raped him just to be able to see his daughter. He had to make nice with his rapist. Let that sink in. He had to make nice with his rapist in order to even have a chance at seeing his daughter.

    Or, to add insult to injury, these men(and boys) are expected to pay for the privilege of having been raped by women via child support.

  5. I absolutely would encourage you to educate the public about male rape victims and advocate for their rights in cases when their rape results in the conception of a child.

  6. @ Jen

    And that is exactly what I’m doing. Why make yet another law offering women unique protection when this law could have easily extended itself to protecting male victims of female rapists as well?

    How many men and boys being raped by women and forced to lose custody/pay child support do there need to be in order for their needs to be addressed as well?

  7. The law is appropriate because 1)In our sexist rape culture the vast majority of rapes, are committed by men against women, children and other men, are very rarely prosecuted or convicted. Women primarily assault children, rarely other women and men. 2) If pregnancy results from a female-male rape the man is not the one who becomes pregnant so is spared the double violation experienced by the 25,000 women per year who become pregnant through rape–100% of it male perpetrated. 3) Many male rapists either receive custody or visitation because of the rape culture and unjust laws allowing this, or use the threat of such to bully the woman into not prosecuting so she receives no financial support .and he is free to rape again. Shauna Prewitt is the expert on this topic both as a mother of a rape conceived child who had to fight her rapist for custody and a lawyer http://www.shaunaprewitt.com/#!page-3

  8. @ Mother Laura

    The most accurate and widescale statistic to date found parity in rape victimization between men and women with 80% of the rapes against men being perpetrated by women.

    http://www.genderratic.com/p/836/manufacturing-female-victimhood-and-marginalizing-vulnerable-men/

    Our society hides the rape of men. We can’t see what we don’t care to see.