New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) asked her administration to remove language about "forcible rape" from a new state policy on Wednesday after The Huffington Post reported that the language had been added in.
As of Wednesday, New Mexico's Children, Youth and Families Department was considering changes to its child care assistance policy that would exempt only victims of incest and "forcible rape" from having to file child support claims against the absent parent. Domestic violence workers complained that the policy would re-victimize a woman whose rape was not legally considered "forcible," such as a young victim of statutory rape, by forcing her to contact her rapist for child support before being able to qualify for state childcare assistance.
Enrique Knell, a spokesperson for the CYFD, said Martinez directed the department on Wednesday night to remove the word "forcible" from the language.
"It’s redundant, unnecessary, and she doesn’t support its usage," Knell told The Huffington Post.
Knell said the CYFD had used the term "forcible rape" because the FBI still uses it, and it can be found in some federal regulations for the establishment of paternity.
Martinez, a former prosecutor, also used the language in an executive proclamation earlier this year.
“Rape is rape," said Adriann Barboa, field director with Strong Families in N.M. "Let’s not move backward toward victim blaming."