Rape victim told if she denied her rapist visitation, she’d be sent to jail

National

(CNN) BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A 32-year-old woman in Birmingham, Alabama says the state’s laws have forced her to face the man she says raped her again and again.

With Alabama’s recent abortion ban, Jessica’s story has gotten national attention, showing how the state is failing rape survivors.

Jessica asked to have her last name omitted from this story to protect her children.

She says she was continually raped by her step-uncle.

Despite evidence, including a DNA test, he was never convicted.

“Well, it all started when I was 12 or 13 years old, and he started climbing in my bed at night,” she said.

She was impregnated 4 times as a result.

At 14, she miscarried.

At 16, she had a baby boy

At 18, she had her third child. He later died due to a disease common in cases of incest.

At 19, she had her youngest son.

“I literally just felt like I didn’t have any options,” she said.

Her accused rapist has been taking her to court– and winning– for visitation of her sons.

Jessica says she is sharing her story in hopes it brings change.

“You have to stand behind what’s right, and you have to stand up for what you believe in. You know, it’s been a very long, hard road for me, but it’s going to be worth it,” Jessica said. “It may not benefit my case, but somebody in the future will benefit from this.”

“We are one of two states in the union that does not have a law that terminates the rights of a rapist,” said Representative Juandalynn Givan, (D) Jefferson County.

Rep. Givan says her fellow lawmakers are wasting time passing senseless bills.

“I think the legislature is failing the women of Alabama,” she said. “The justice system can do no more than what we enact into law.”

The man that raped Jessica still has visitation rights to her two children.

The judge told Jessica that for each visit she denied her rapist, she’d have to spend 48 hours in the county jail.

Rep. Givan has already taken steps to pre-file legislation for next session that would strip rapists of their parental rights.

 

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