Lyons: Legislation sends message to offenders that Michigan will not tolerate domestic violence and sexual assault
The governor today signed legislation to help protect victims or potential victims of domestic violence by establishing clear and sensible child custody standards.
House Bill 4481, introduced by Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, allows a victim of sexual assault that results in pregnancy to present clear and convincing evidence in order to have the right to parenting time and custody taken away from the assailant.
“Michigan needs to send a message that we stand with the victims and survivors of domestic violence and rape,” said Rep. Lyons, R-Alto. “Too often in cases of sexual assault and domestic violence, a rapist will use the threat of seeking custody of the child to intimidate pregnant victims into not pressing criminal charges of the attack. It is unthinkable that we would allow this to occur when we have the ability to provide victims with the protection and peace of mind they need in order to heal.
“My bill allows the victim of rape the ability to present clear and convincing evidence—a standard already accepted in child protection and custody cases—in order to have parenting and custody time removed from the rapist.”
HB 4481 was signed into law as Public Act 96 of 2016.
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