August 2013

Should a Rapist Get Custody of the Child?

father son custody

Among the many atrocities that were brought to light during the proceedings against convicted rapist and kidnapper Ariel Castro, one in particular has caught the attention of Congress.

In a sentencing hearing this month, Castro requested permission to visit the 6-year-old child he fathered through rape. An Ohio court had earlier denied Castro's request for visitation.

Thousands of rape-related pregnancies occur in the United States every year, and many survivors elect to raise children conceived in rape. In some instances, rapists instigate custody battles or use the threat of assertion of parental rights to further manipulate and victimize survivors.

Read more and learn how you can take action.

8 Tips for Campus Safety
back to school

Heading back to school is an exciting time for the more than 21 million college students in the U.S., but new environments and new experiences present additional risks and potentially dangerous situations. Violence on campus is a harsh reality: college-aged students are at the highest risk of being sexually assaulted — often by someone they know. The first steps in staying safe are recognizing the risks and being proactive.

"With headlines of sexual assaults on college campuses frequently in the news, this year's tips are especially important for all students heading back to school," said RAINN spokesperson Katherine Hull.

"Take control of your online life" and "be a good friend" are just some of the tips. See all of RAINN's back to school safety tips.

Register for RAINN Day
rainn day logo

"There's still time to make a difference on your campus by hosting a RAINN Day event that is unique as you are," says Megan Erhardt, RAINN's Senior Communications Manager. RAINN Day, the annual action campaign on college and university campuses around the country, teaches students about sexual assault prevention and recovery. Each year, campus volunteer organizers plan events tailored to their campus style. RAINN provides organizers with a complete planning and promotion guide, and creates materials that volunteers can distribute to students. This year's events will include everything from a 5k run to film screenings.

Sign up to host an event on your campus or take a look at past RAINN Days.

World Poker Tour's Ladies' Night
world poker tour

The World Poker Tour's Ladies' Night Invitational, airing live on FOX Sports on September 5, will feature six top female poker players who will compete to win the most amount of money for a charity of their choice. World Poker Tour anchor Kimberly Lansing has chosen to benefit RAINN because of her passion for fighting sexual violence. She stated, "No one should ever have to experience the kind of horror that is sexual violence. RAINN provides victims the first step toward recovery and wellness, so it was a no brainer to represent and bring awareness to such a important organization."

Watch the competition on FOX Sports or follow World Poker Tour on Twitter.

QuickSeries and RAINN Team on New Guides
world poker tour

QuickSeries, the country's leading publisher of pocket guides, has teamed with RAINN on three new guides on sexual violence topics. Dating & Domestic Violence (Prevention and Recovery); Child Sexual Abuse; and Campus Safety are available in print and through the QuickSeries apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry. The publications, widely used by the military, schools and parents, provide a thorough explanation of each topic and advice for recovery and treatment.

Visit QuickSeries to order or call 800.361.4653.

Federal Employee Campaign Kicks Off
cfc campaign logo

Federal employees, including members of the military, can support RAINN (# 10488) through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), which kicks off in September. The world's largest workplace charity campaign, CFC provides the opportunity to support the charity year-round through payroll deductions in manageable, monthly increments.

Designate RAINN (# 10488) in your CFC campaign or help promote RAINN to your colleagues.


 RAINN in the News

market watch rainn "According to RAINN... violence on campus is a harsh reality. Every year RAINN releases their safety tips for college students. Parents should review these with their kids."

MarketWatch columnist Jeanette Pavini

nbc news logo "I was taken aback [by Castro's statements] but at the same time not shocked by it. It's somebody who was not willing to accept that what they did was wrong and who may have convinced themselves that what they are doing is not wrong or justified. It read like the way that a perpetrator thinks."

— RAINN's Jennifer Marsh to NBC News

More News
Kent State Sings at SongFest
kent state song fest

Kent State University has stepped up as a leader in fighting sexual violence by benefiting RAINN through its annual SongFest campaign.

Fraternities and sororities this fall will compete for points through raising money for RAINN and organizing activities on campus. SongFest 2013 will culminate on November 9, with a night of song and skit competitions that will educate peers about the crime.

"Like" KentSongFest2013 on Facebook and 10¢ will be donated to RAINN, or make a donation.

Spotlight on the Speakers Bureau: Amy Pollpeter
Amy Pollpeter

"I decided to join the RAINN Speakers Bureau because this crime had silenced me for nearly 15 years, and still silences many others. So many survivors feel like they are totally alone in the world. I realized I had a voice and by speaking I could not only raise awareness about this too-often unspoken-of crime, but also let other survivors know that they are not alone and provide hope with the knowledge that you can heal from it. The work that RAINN does is so important and encouraging – I am proud to be a part of it."

Read more about Amy's story and the RAINN Speakers Bureau here.

Online Hotline Staffer Spotlight: Jennifer Ward
Jennifer Ward

"I live my life by the saying, 'To whom much is given much is required.' I have some great colleagues and I learn something new everyday. I'm able to provide hope and encouragement to those in need. The Online Hotline is doing great things! The fact that the chat service is 24/7 allows us to be accessible to many people."

Learn more about volunteering for RAINN.

Did You Know?
did you know

You can take action by contacting your U.S Representative and urging him/her to co-sponsor H.R. 2772, the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, which will prohibit rapists from asserting parental rights, such as custody and visitation, over children conceived as a result of their crime. This important law will enable survivors to heal and move forward with their lives in the aftermath of sexual assault.

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