31 STATES is an ambitious 90-minute documentary film targeted for theatrical release exploring the epidemic of rapists seeking custody of the children they father through rape in the US. The film takes an intimate look at the survivors who have experienced firsthand this tragedy and those who are currently living through this horrific experience. It also explores how 31 states don’t have any laws protecting the survivors or the children conceived in rape.
For many Americans, rape is inconceivable and too horrible to even think about. For far too many women in the United States, it is a harsh reality. Five percent of the women who are raped conceive during the assault. Half of these women choose abortion. The other half choose to carry the baby to term and either raise the baby or give him or her up for adoption. This is where our story begins. As of April 2013, in 31 states the rapist can sue for custody of the child they conceived in rape because no laws exist to protect the mother and child. There is no distinction between a father who conceived a child with a willing mother and a father who conceived a child while committing an illegal act. The rapists and the defense attorneys know about this legal black hole and exploit it by bartering for reduced or no criminal charges in order for them to sign away their parental rights. Other rapists use this as a way to re-rape the survivor. If the rapist wins custody, which does happen, the survivor may be forced to see the rapist every week for custody visits. In some cases, the survivor has even been forced to pay child support to their attacker. 31 STATES will explore this problem through the eyes of the survivors, their families and the children themselves who were conceived in rape. The film will also explore if this is a problem only within the United States, or if it is worldwide, and how people are already fighting to change this. 31 STATES will learn what else can be done to prevent this in each of the fifty states.
This cause is to financially support the production team to limit out-of-pocket expenses. The production team will be travelling to interview State Senators and Representatives in all 50 states. They will also be traveling to document current court cases to tell the survivors' stories and speak with experts.