MARYLAND - The Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan (R), has signed a bill that insures no rape victim is forced to interact with their attacker.
It has been a fight for nearly a decade in the state.
“This is a very important day for the state of Maryland,” said Gov. Hogan.
On Tuesday, Gov. Larry Hogan, signed the Rape Survivor Family Protection Act into law.
The law will enable rape victims who conceive a child to terminate the parental rights of their rapist.
“I think it is a great leap forward in believing women when they say they have been raped,” said Igna James, Hartley House. Hartley House located in Frederick, Md., is a non-profit organization that provides confidential and supportive services to victims.
James has worked with women before who have been in a situation like this, where a woman's rapist was asking for joint custody.
“His family was following,” James said. “They were demanding visitation rights, so she was having to deal not only the rapist, but his family wanting to have visitation rights of this child that who had been born of the rape and there was nothing she could do about it."
The Rape Survivor Family Protection Act is just one of several proposals that Gov. Hogan announced earlier this year to help protect and empower victims of crime in the state.
The Felony Human Trafficking Act of 2018 which classifies felony human trafficking as a violent crime. The Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act of 2018 which allows courts to admit evidence of a criminal defendant's prior history of sexual crimes if the person is prosecuted for sexual offenses.
“I partially want to thank all of the advocates who pushed to make it happen and have been involved for so long,” said Gov. Hogan.
The Hogan administration also has proposed to strengthen the state's “Safe-At-Home” program to help victims of domestic violence.
The other proposed bills are currently going through the legislative process in the Maryland General Assembly.