According to Massachusetts State Representative Ryan Fattman, undocumented victims who are raped “should be afraid to come forward” and report their rape because of their immigration status. Fattman reported the following comments to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette:
"My thought is that if someone is here illegally, they should be afraid to come forward," Mr. Fattman said. "If you do it the right way, you don't have to be concerned about these things," he stated, referring to obtaining legal immigration status.
Representative Fattman's appalling assertion sends a chilling message to all rape survivors that their circumstances could -- and even should -- prohibit them from seeking help. Rape is already the most under-reported crime, in large part because victims are afraid of being put under the microscope if they report their rape.
We call on Representative Fattman to apologize for his comments and ask his colleagues in the Massachusetts State Legislature to hold him accountable for claiming certain individuals who are raped don't deserve help.
We also call on the Massachusetts State Legislature - to publicly denounce Rep. Fattman's comments and send a message that there are never any circumstances in which a victim should be afraid to come forward about being raped.
This action is endorsed by New Hope, Rape Crisis Center of Central MA and Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.