Our open letter calling for the repeal of the two child tax credit limit and ‘rape clause’ has been published in The Telegraph today. The fully text of the letter and list of signatories is below, but you can also read the letter on the Telegraph website here (requires registration).
SIR – We strongly oppose the Government’s two-child tax credit limit, an abhorrent policy that forces victims of domestic and sexual violence to disclose that their third or subsequent baby was conceived as a result of rape or coercive control in order to avoid losing their child’s tax credits.
Many women will never disclose rape to anyone, for reasons including trauma, self-protection, shame and fear for others, including their child. The demand for a woman to have left the perpetrator in order to claim tax credits reveals a complete lack of understanding of this crime and the life-threatening risks facing the women and children who do leave.
The “rape clause” is set against a backdrop of wider changes to social security rules that restrict women’s access to security, safety and the resources they need to live free from violence and abuse.
On this year’s International Peace Day – the theme of which is “respect, safety and dignity for all” – we call on the Government to uphold the rights of women and children who have survived abuse and reverse this policy immediately.
Chief Executive, Women’s Aid Federation of England
Chief Executive, Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland
Dr Marsha Scott
Chief Executive, Scottish Women’s Aid
Chief Executive, Welsh Women’s Aid
Director, Agenda Alliance
Chairman, British Association of Social Workers
Dr Ruth Allen
Chief Executive, British Association of Social Workers
Chief Executive, BPAS
Chief Executive, Children England
Chief Executive, The Children’s Society
Co-Director, End Violence Against Women and Girls Coalition
Executive Director, Engender
Chief Executive, Fawcett Society
Chief Executive, Gingerbread
Chief Executive, Imkaan
National Union of Students Women’s Officers in the UK, Scotland and Wales
Co-Chairmen, Rape Crisis England and Wales
Estelle du Boulay
Chief Executive, Rights of Women
Chief Executive, Royal College of Midwives
Chief Executive, SaveLives
Chief Executive, Standing Together
National Women’s Officer, Unison
National Officer for Equalities, Unite the union
Chief Executive, Victim Support
Programme Manager, 4in10 Programme