Protecting Rape Survivors From Co-parenting With Their Rapist

Apr 9th @ 7:26 am in News by Scott Staley

CO State Senate Majority Office

Protecting rape survivors from having to co-parent with their rapist 

DENVER – Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary committee worked to stop convicted rapists from invading the lives of rape survivors.  In a unanimous, bipartisan vote, the committee moved the bill (SB 13-227) to the Appropriations committee.

The bill allows the court to terminate all parental rights of a convicted rapist when a rape results in the birth of a child.  Under the bill, the court could specifically prohibit parenting time, decision-making, inheritance from the child, and adoption rights.

The bill does not relieve the rapist of child support obligations, unless those obligations are waived by the survivor.

“Allowing convicted rapists to have parental rights is a dangerous notion.  It allows the rapist access to the family of the survivor, and he may use the access to coerce and torment the survivor.  Through this bill, we can help protect the survivor and her family from having to communicate with her rapist,” said Majority Leader Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora), the bill sponsor.

Rape is a widespread problem in the United States.  Statistics prove that every two minutes, a person in the United States is sexually assaulted.  Approximately 27.5 percent of college women have been raped, and one in six women will be raped in her life.

A number of rapes result in pregnancy, and thirty-one states have addressed restricting parental rights of rapists.  SB 13-227 will make Colorado the thirty-second state.