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'The Daily Show's Samantha Bee did an eye-opening report about rapists and parental rights.

It's kind of shocking in how many states it's totally legal for a rapist to sue for parental rights.Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault.

'The Daily Show's Samantha Bee did an eye-opening report about rapists and parental rights.

It's really rare for a politician to have a slam-dunk piece of legislation with support from all sides of the political spectrum. But Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz thinks she's got one.

Her bill is based on a simple, widely supported concept:


Seems reasonable enough, right? There's no way a rape victim should have to see their attacker over and over.

Plus, it's not like this is all that common, right? I mean, take it from former Rep. Todd Akin. Here's what he had to say about women becoming pregnant as the result of rape:

(I'm leaving out the nonsense about women being able to "shut that whole thing down.")

Wrong! It's actually surprisingly common.

Here's what Shauna Prewitt — who went through a two-year custody battle with her attacker — has to say about that:

And some rapists will use the threat of a custody battle to get the survivor to drop charges against them.

But how is this legal?

Well, in a number of states (highlighted in red), even convicted rapists can sue for custody or visitation rights for children born as the result of their crime.

It's beyond messed up.

Since parental rights are handled at a state level, Wasserman Schultz's bill ("The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act") wouldn't actually change existing laws.

It would just offer incentives to states to revamp their own custody laws.

Prewitt supports Florida's law, which requires that a rapist either be found guilty or plead guilty in order for parental rights to be terminated.

"The court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the child was conceived as a result of an act of sexual battery. ... It is presumed that termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the child if the child was conceived as a result of the unlawful sexual battery."
— Florida's 2013 parental rights law

But what's horrifying is that in many other states, someone can be convicted of rape and still fight for custody of the child.

The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act is just the first step in ending the nightmare that so many of these survivors are forced to relive over and over.


Watch Samantha Bee's full report on "The Daily Show":

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled that so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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