The True Story Behind Lifetime’s ‘You Can’t Take My Daughter’

Analyn Megison

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Lifetime’s latest film, You Can’t Take My Daughter, is about a woman who fights back against the judicial system after her rapist tries to gain custody of her daughter.  The movie is based on the true story of Analyn Megison.

In June 2019, Megison shared her story in an opinion piece for USA Today, titled, “My rapist fought for custody of my daughter. States can’t keep survivors tied to rapists.”

In the piece, Megison reveals that she was raped in 2003, and chose to continue with the resulting pregnancy because she “did not want to think of [her]self as a victim.”

Then, in 2010, her rapist tried to claim custody of her child.

Megison’s Alleged Rapist Was Never Convicted

Megison writes in the piece for USA Today, “My rapist was never convicted for what he did to me. When the day came that I was served with court papers on his behalf, I was terrified of the danger this posed for my child, who had no idea what I would have to go through to protect her.” As Megison points out, there was no law in place in Florida at the time to protect her.

The judge in the case, fortunately for Megison, decided that it was necessary to have a full evidentiary hearing about how she was assaulted and how the child was conceived, before the court case would move forward.

Eventually, the alleged rapist stopped pursuing the case and Megison was victorious in her pursuit to protect her child. But that did not come without spending hours researching rapist parental rights in states– in fact, she drafted a model law for Florida. And during that time, as The Independent points out, Megison also became the co-founder of Hope After Rape Conception, which is an organization “focused on changing state laws to protect children and victims of rape.”

The Bill Megison Drafted Was Passed Unanimously in 2013

Megison, in her piece, writes, “I wanted laws put in place protecting rape survivors and their children. I was repeatedly told that a rapist father is as good as any other father under the law in Florida. That’s not true there. It isn’t true anywhere.”

At the time of writing the article, 30 states allowed the termination of parental rights of rapists involved in the conception of a child. Others required a sexual assault conviction.

In her draft of the bill, Megison wrote that any person who was found to have conceived a child through “clear and convincing” evidence of rape would have his or her parental rights terminated by the state, according to Good Housekeeping.

The bill was passed unanimously in 2013, the outlet reports.

In 2015, President Obama signed into law the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, “which helps rape survivors avoid custody battles by providing additional federal funding to states with protective statutes.”

According to her LinkedIn, Megison earned her JD in 2000 from Florida State University College of Law. Today, she resides in Tallahassee, Florida.

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