A 32-year-old woman in Birmingham says the state’s laws have forced her to face, over and over, the man she says raped.
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 tells us she was continually raped by her step-uncle.
Despite evidence, including a DNA test, he was never convicted.
She says it started when she was 12 or 13 years old, that he started climbing in her bad at night,
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.
She says, “I literally just felt like I didn’t have any options.”
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.
She says, “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. It may not benefit my case, but somebody in the future will benefit from this.”
Representative Juandalynn Givan says her fellow lawmakers are wasting time passing senseless bills. “We are one of two states in the union that does not have a law that terminates the rights of a rapist. I think the legislature is failing the women of Alabama. 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 for each visit she denied her rapist, she’d have to spend 48 hours in the county jail.
Representative Given has already taken steps to pre-file legislation for next session, which would strip rapists of their parental rights
Sexual assault survivors can find more resources by calling 1-800-656-HOPE or locally 1-800-691-8426 or 256-716-1000.