The term "forcible rape" is back in the news, this time because New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez wants women to prove they were "forcibly raped" if they seek childcare assistance.
After Todd Akin created a national controversy with his “legitimate rape” comments, Gov. Martinez is pushing for an amendment to New Mexico's childcare assistance regulations. The proposed change states: (3) Good cause for refusal to cooperate may be granted when such cooperation is not in the best interest of the child or parent, including but not limited to the following circumstances: (b) the child was conceived as a result of incest or forcible rape;
(4) The applicant or recipient who makes a claim for good cause shall supply documentary evidence to establish the claim. The caseworker shall not deny, delay, or discontinue subsidized child care benefits pending a determination of good cause if the applicant or recipient has complied with the requirements to furnish evidence or information.
The proposed amendment would exempt victims of "forcible rape" from having to file child support claims against the absent parent according to the Huffington Post. It also means women who are victims of what Gov. Martinez defines as "forcible rape" must relive the attack by having to obtain "evidence" that the rape was "forcible".
The Inquisitor says the new proposed change would force women who have left domestic violence relationships, who were victims of date rape or incest, or other “non-forcible” means to contact their abuser and seek child support before they are eligible for childcare assistance.
Upon speaking with a detective in the Domestic Violence Division of the Metro Nashville Police Department I was told: "Telling a domestic violence victim they have to take their abuser to court for child support is not only dangerous for the victim, but also for the children involved. Domestic Violence victims go to great lengths to avoid contact with their abuser and often times try and hide their whereabouts to help maintain their safety and the safety of the children. If it passes, this amendment will roll back the clock and wipe out some of the progress so many victims, prosecutors and law enforcement officials have pushed for over the years."
The detective, who asked to remain anonymous, went on to say: "I can't really speak for sexual abuse victims since I have never worked with them in the capacity I do victims of domestic violence. I can say based on experience as a patrol officer, any type of sexual assault is extremely traumatic. It seems extremely callous and cruel to tell any sexual assault victim they must confront their attacker and demand child support, like ripping a scab off an old wound."