Dear Legal System and/or Legislators,
A few years ago I was shocked to find out that a rapist could sue for custody rights if their crime produced a child. At first I refused to believe that a country so "advanced" as ours would allow such a thing to happen, but then I remembered that America totally propagates rape culture and is urged on by the media who makes the victim look guilty about pressing chargers against her attackers and "ruining their promising futures". I'm sorry, wasn't their future ruined when they had intercourse with a blacked-out 16 year old? Oh, it was.
But I'm not here to talk about victim-blaming, I'm here to talk about the fact that this country prides itself on being the best at protecting its citizens, but things like rapists gaining custody of the child they basically forced a woman to have, and killers suing the wives of the men they killed still happen here. Why?
Now I know you, the great lawmakers of this country have a lot going on. Making laws is very hard, and tedious, and requires a lot of attention. But at the same time, is it really that hard to look at a situation and ask yourselves "who the heck thought of this?" and then take it off the books?
Let me start with why it is WRONG to allow rapists to file for custody of children who were conceived due to a crime. Now, if you're Todd Akin, you might want to pay special attention, because if you didn't know before, I hope you know now that rape can end in pregnancy. And in 31 states, the father of that baby can gain visitation and sometimes even custody rights.
In these 31 states filing for custody is rare, but the threat of it aids rapists in preventing victims from filing criminal charges. If these charges aren't filed, then the rapist cannot be convicted and they can wander free, possibly to rape again. And the victim? She has to live with the knowledge that her attacker is out wandering the streets, and could, at any time, try to become a permanent part of her life by getting visitation. I'm sorry, but why do we let this happen?
In one case a woman decided to give up the child for adoption, but because of the laws of the state, had to tell her rapist about it. He then took the children and tried to get her to pay child support for children she never wanted and tried to give up. For a woman who had already gone through so much, she then had to deal with that from a man who attacked her and really should have been in prison.
Why do we allow this to happen to the women of America? Why do women so often get the short end of the stick? We didn't ask for it, and its not fair. Rape is rape in any form and the sad thing is, American legislators, I don't think you take this issue as seriously as you say. Because if you did, you would not allow 32,000 women a year worry about the fact that if they press criminal charges, their attacker will pursue paternal rights.
Our laws are absurd. There can be no contest to the fact that as Americans, there are some pretty idiotic things written in the rule books. And also some pretty large, gaping holes that allow terrible things to happen to good people, more than once.
In Seattle right now there is a woman who is wondering whether or not she will have to go to court because she is being sued by the man who killed her husband. Why? He claims defamation of character. First, why is this allowed to happen? Killers, once put away, should no longer be allowed to have any contact with the families of their victims. Especially when those family members are still scared that the killers may come after them.
So get this. In Tacoma about 17 years ago a man shoots another man in the face. Three years later they arrest the killer. Said killer requests to be moved from his current prison to a prison in Canada, where he grew up. The woman, who by the way has moved several times because she's afraid the killer is going to come after her, contacts the Department of Corrections and asks that he remain where he is so she can keep track of the man who brutally murdered her husband.
Now the killer, like I said, is suing her for defamation of character. I'm sorry, Larry Shandola, but you shot a man in the face. He died. If anyone "defamed your character" it was you. The man who pointed his gun at another man's face for probably no reason at all.
Now legislators, why is there no law preventing killers from contacting the survivors of the victim? Why doesn't a potential law suit have to go before a judge so that they can decide whether or not its frivilous, potentially harmful, and/or a waste of time?
And also, why do survivors of murder victims have to seek a restraining order against people who killed their spouses, etc.?
As I said before, you have a lot on your plate. But it is 2013, people. I thought that as a country we would have it a little bit put together by now. But nothing.