Refuse Parental Rights to Rapists

Target: Members of Congress

Goal: Don’t grant parental rights to rapists who impregnate their victims.

Shockingly, 31 states allow rapists to enjoy the same parental rights that are extended to parents involved in consensual conception. Please sign this petition to encourage Congress to enact federal legislation that would protect children from rapist “parents” seeking parental rights.

A common misperception is that a rape survivor impregnated during the abuse would not want to have the child. While some survivors experience the pregnancy as a continuation of the assault, others choose to raise the child as a positive outcome of a devastating situation. According to a analytical Note by CNN Contributor, Shauna Prewitt, at least 30% of women who conceive by rape make the choice to raise the child, Prewitt is one of them.

After becoming a lawyer in her quest to fight the man who raped her from gaining custody of their child, Prewitt blames ignorance for the lack of protective legislation. Unfounded assumptions that both the rape survivor would not want to raise the child, and the rapist would not seek parental rights, has left a huge loophole in state’s family laws. Because states are not enacting laws to protect child welfare, psychological abuse, and common sense, it is necessary for the federal government to implement a nation wide precedent that protects children and guardians from rapists seeking family rights. With approximately 25,000 women becoming pregnant through rape each year, it is crucial that Congress act now to protect women and children from rapist fathers seeking custody.

Please sign this petition and urge Congress to pass legislation that prevents rapists from exercising parental rights over children conceived by his or her crime.


Dear Members of Congress,

Rapists who produce a child as a result of their crime have unrestricted parental rights over the child in 31 states. With 25,000 women becoming pregnant through rape each year, it is imperative that Congress enact a federal law restricting parental rights to rapists. Legislation to protect the mother and child from physical and emotional endangerment is absolutely necessary as part of federal law.

Many lawmakers make the ignorant assumption that mothers who conceive during rape do not want to raise the child. Similarly, most do not think that a rapist would come forward seeking parental rights of a child conceived from their abuse. Studies analyzing choices made by pregnant raped women indicate that at least 30% of women who conceive choose to raise the child.

Allowing rapists parental rights over the product of their assault forces the rape survivor to relive the powerlessness and fear experienced during the abuse. Although there have been no studies analyzing the number of rapists who seek custody of their rape-conceived children, anecdotal evidence and the necessity some states felt to adopt restrictive parental right laws, demonstrates its occurrence. If the rapist does gain custody or visitation rights, the rape survivor is forced to maintain a relationship with their perpetrator, foster a relationship between the rapist and their child, and even consult the rapist on decisions about their child’s welfare.

A person who has raped a woman simply cannot be said to have established requisite parental rights necessary to accord the rapist custody or visitation. Please create a federal law that would restrict rapists from seeking parental rights over a child conceived from their crime.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: singlemomfinancialhelp via Yahoo

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  1. Preposterous to give such an assailant custody of the child!!

  2. ugh, this law is horrible, can you imagine having to see your rapist for the next 18 years..

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