Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Forced to Keep the name of my Rapist

My husband raped me. We are divorced and have a child together. I no longer wish to have his name, to associate with the man who raped me and I want to have the same surname as my child.

I have been told that it is very unlikely that I will succeed in having my surname added to our child's - so our child has both our surnames.

I carried our child for 9 months, gave birth yet that is not enough of a reason to change our child's name as it has to be in the child's interest and apparently this is not.

To have my name added to his surname is, apparently, not in the child's best interest.

My child will have a different surname to the Mother who gave birth and is the main carer.

My child will have a different surname to the Mother who goes to the doctor/ dentist/ school run/ pays for clothes/ food/ loves and adores and actually raises my child.

My child will only have the surname of the man who wanted her aborted, had no connection to , did not raise/ feed/ clothe/ take to doctor/dentist/schoolrun.

The father who gives £7 a week maintenance because he claims he can't pay more.

According to the law, it is in my child's interest to only have his surname.

So I will carry on using my rapist's surname.
Because if that is the only way I get to have the same surname as the child I gave birth to, that is what I will do.

Because at the end of the day being raped by my husband is not enough, I'm now also being raped by a patriarchal legal system.

If this post doesn't make much sense, it's because wine is lessening the effect of what I am feeling.

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2 thoughts on “Forced to Keep the name of my Rapist

  • Suzi says:

    I agree with everything you’ve written but if you are in the UK you can have any name you wish. It would be ideld if you could double barrel your child’s name but if this isn’t possible, you can still change your own name.

    I myself was in this situation, as are a lot of people nowadays because not everyone gets married when they have children and it really didn’t cause any problems. My child is grown up now and we still do not have the same name although he could change it if he wanted to, it’s just that he can’t be bothered. All the relevant agencies dealing with your child: schools, doctors, etc. will have your name alongside your child’s records because you’re the mother and you will be the one authorised to collect from school/ consent to treatment, etc., so please do whatever you think is right but if you don’t want his name please don’t let it hang like a millstone round your neck. He’s caused you enough anguish and distress and he doesn’t own you. I wish you and your daughter all the best.

  • Susie says:

    I’m so sorry to hear your story. It’s so wrong that you must endure this.

    It sounds like you are doing an amazing job raising your child in such circumstances and I admire your strength and dignity.

    I can only suggest you try to disconnect him from “his” name. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a name. It doesn’t belong to him. He doesn’t own the name or you.

    Much love to you and your little one.