NEW JERSEY’S FAILURE TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE PROTECTION TO SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT WHO GIVE BIRTH TO CHILDREN CONCEIVED THROUGH THEIR ATTACK

Author: 

Justine Longa

Sexual assault, though vastly under-reported by survivors, occurs with alarming frequency in the United States.  Despite the prevalence of sexual assault, most perpetrators are never caught, arrested, tried, or convicted for their crimes.  In addition to enduring the initial trauma of the assault, many survivors are also left to deal with a variety of lasting psychological, emotional, social, and physical effects.  Some survivors are even left to deal with the unthinkable — carrying the child of their attacker.  Survivors who become pregnant as a result of sexual assault and make the decision to raise the child, may be forced to allow their attackers to share in the benefits of raising that child.  Many states can require survivors to allow their attackers to share custody of and visitation rights to children conceived through an assault.  New Jersey is among the states that allow for such a possibility. Read More.