P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2017
AUSTIN – The Texas House of Representatives has approved SB 77, authored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to ensure that victims of sexual assault are not forced to co-parent with their attacker. The bill now moves to the Governor's desk.
"I hope this legislation provides comfort to rape victims who have been unable to terminate the parental rights of their attacker. By adding this crime to the list of those which can be used as grounds for termination of parental rights, judges can better protect these individuals from additional harm. No one should be forced to co-parent with their attacker," Senator Nelson said.
SB 77 responds to a case in Flower Mound in which a woman who was brutally raped by her husband was unable to have her attacker's parental rights terminated because rape of the other parent was not grounds for termination of parental rights under Texas state law. SB 77 adds this offense to the list and the bill further maintains a judge's discretion to terminate parental rights - if the judge has grounds and finds termination of rights in the best interest of the child.