ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today joined Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller and Speaker of the House Mike Busch to sign the Rape Survivor Family Protection Act into law. This new law, passed with the governor’s vocal support after nearly a decade of efforts by advocates, will enable rape victims who conceive a child to terminate the parental rights of their rapist. At the outset of the 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly, the presiding officers stated their support for this legislation, while the governor called on legislators to act expeditiously and pledged to sign it the moment it reached his desk.
“Our administration made a commitment to work with legislative leaders to pass this important and long overdue legislation, and today, I am proud to sign this bill into law,” said Governor Hogan. “No rapist should be allowed to maintain their rights as a parent, and no victim should ever be forced to interact with their attacker. The Rape Survivor Family Protection Act will ensure just that."
Earlier this year, Governor Hogan announced several proposals to further protect, support, and empower victims of crime in Maryland, and the governor today urged the Maryland General Assembly to act on those bills, which are currently going through the legislative process.
The Felony Human Trafficking Act of 2018 classifies felony human trafficking as a violent crime, ensuring that offenders will be held truly accountable. The Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act of 2018 mirrors legislation that was proposed by the governor during the 2017 session and has received bipartisan support for nearly a decade. The bill allows courts to admit evidence of a criminal defendant’s prior history of sexual crimes or abuse if he or she is prosecuted for subsequent sexual offenses.
In addition, the Hogan administration has proposed legislation to strengthen the Maryland “Safe-at-Home” Address Confidentiality Program to better enable victims of domestic violence to safely purchase a home without fear of their abuser finding their address. Governor Hogan also announced a proposal to create a new victim services unit focused on restitution by centralizing data collection across state agencies that will act as a one-stop shop for victim notification and information regarding restitution.
“We look forward to working with the legislature in a bipartisan manner to pass our common sense victims’ right proposals in order to make Maryland safer for all of our citizens,” said the governor.
Since taking office, the Hogan administration has demonstrated its commitment to empowering and supporting victims of crime including convening the first-ever governor’s statewide victim services conferences, awarding over $110 million in federal and state funds to help victims and organizations, and serving over 181,000 victims in Maryland in the past year alone.