Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Colorado One of Only 12 States to Meet Rape Survivor & Child Custody Act Requirements

Colorado was one of just 12 states to meet the requirements of the federal Rape Survivor and Child Custody Act in FY2016, earning the state more than $139,000 in additional funding to support programs that help survivors of sexual assaults.

Staff within the Office for Victims Programs within the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) learned of the federal funding late in the fall of 2016. DCJ will distribute the funds to programs around the state that provide direct services for victims of sexual assault.

Colorado qualified for the funding because it has statutes in place that protect women from being forced to share custody of a child conceived by sexual assault with the rapist. Colorado law provides the opportunity for a court to terminate the parental rights of the perpetrator of the sexual assault in cases where there is clear evidence that that child was conceived as a result of sexual assault and that the termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the child. The law does not require that a conviction occur.

"It's not a ton of money, but it does make a difference, and it makes a positive statement to sexual assault survivors," said Ashley Riley Lopes, Grants Administrator. "This is an example demonstrating how progressive Colorado is in terms of supporting victims and survivors."

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