Protecting Women Survivors
Parental rights legislation passes House

State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) today announced the passage of HB 257, legislation which protects survivors from custody battles who become pregnant as a result of rape.  The bill prohibits parental rights to men who father children through rape when there is a conviction or plea of guilty to rape or sexual assault.  The bill passed out of the House with a unanimous vote of 93-0.  

HB 257 prohibits custody and visitation without the consent of the child’s mother or guardian. It also permits a survivor to terminate specified parental rights of the father.

“No woman who has survived the trauma of sexual assault should have to face the possibility of further victimization through a custody battle with her rapist,” said Rep. Antonio. “However, that is precisely the situation in which some survivors have found themselves.” Rep. Antonio was compelled to draft this legislation as the events unfolded in the Ariel Castro case and hopes this legislation will protect women in similar situations to Amanda Berry in the future.

In 2011, 7,972 sexual assault victims reported to Ohio Department of Public Safety-OIBRS-reporting law enforcement agencies, which cover approximately 75 percent of Ohio’s population. 85 percent were female victims and 15 percent were male victims.  60 percent were juvenile victims and the average age of victimization was 15. 


Featured Posts