England: Children born as a result of rape to be recognised as victims
Children who were conceived through rape will be recognised as victims of crime in landmark new legislation in England and Wales.
The UK government yesterday announced it will amend its upcoming Victims Bill to clarify that these children are entitled to support from criminal justice agencies such as the police and courts.
Ministers believe the lack of explicit reference to people born as a result of rape in the Victims’ Code makes it unnecessarily difficult for them to claim support and entitlements such as being provided with information about their case.
The change will allow people born as a result of rape to more easily access therapy and counselling sessions, as well as being recognised as victims by support services, including advocacy services, who can help with a range of issues such as alcohol and drug misuse and provide guidance on accessing education and housing benefit.
The amendments apply to children born as a result of rape whatever age they are and will cover all sexual offences which can result in a pregnancy, such as position of trust offences.
Lord Chancellor Dominic Raab said: “No child born in these horrific circumstances should be left to suffer alone, which is why we must ensure they can access vital support whenever they may need it.
“Our Victims Bill will amplify their voices and boost support for all victims at every stage of the justice system.”