We look to our legal system to help prevent sexual violence. Criminal laws against rape, human trafficking, child sexual abuse, and other sex crimes are seen as deterrents to violence and sources of justice for survivors. But other aspects of the law are just as important to preventing and responding to sexual violence. Civil laws can also provide protection, choice, and justice.
This issue includes articles by three legislators about their proposals to help respond to sexual violence through changes in our civil laws. Delegate Kathleen Dumais writes about Human Trafficking and how to help stop it by requiring traffickers to forfeit assets. Senator Jamie Raskin is reviving past efforts to give courts the authority to terminate a rapist’s parental rights when a child is conceived as a result of rape. And Senator Chris Shank is responding to the murders of two women in his community by proposing that survivors of dating or sexual violence be allowed to obtain stronger protective orders.
One of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s primary purposes is to help bring the voices of sexual assault survivors to our policy makers, and help those who work with survivors learn more about policies that are being considered. We are grateful that these three leaders have shared their proposals with us and look forward to working with them as Maryland’s legislative session gets underway.
Please help us ensure that survivors are heard. Join MCASA and contact your legislators about the issues that matter to you. Together we can help shape the policies that will end sexual violence.
Lisae C. Jordan, Esq.
Executive Director & Counsel