For years media attention has been focussed on the victims of childhood sexual abuse with the children born from rape being overlooked. A recent BBC documentary Out of the Shadows: Born From Rape seeks to redress this.
In the programme, victims of abuse who gave birth to children and the children themselves explain the devastating effects of this crime. Whilst help is available to the mothers this is sadly not the case for those born as a result and who should equally be acknowledged as victims.
Change should come as a result of the Victims Bill. The new draft law aims to improve the support victims receive by way of a “Victims’ Code”. If passed, the law will result in greater access to help such as therapy and information about their case.
Despite more public awareness in the aftermath of the Jimmy Savile scandal it is still hard to disclose abuse. There’s stigma and fear of not being believed. It is even harder for children born from rape. It’s hoped the new law will reduce stigma and lead more victims to realise that they are not alone, encouraging them to get the help and support they need.
Working in the area of child abuse, I am used to acting on behalf of victims of abuse in making a civil claim for compensation. It will be interesting to see how the law develops in dealing with those born as a result of rape.
Comment from David Greenwood
The addition of those born from rape to the Victims’ Code is welcome recognition of their place in society but the thousands of children born in these circumstances suffer extra psychological, and sometimes physical, disability as a result. They need a lot of extra care and frankly they don’t get it at the moment. The only way to try to help these deserving people with money is by pursuing a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (“CICA”). Money brings the freedom to buy your own choice of therapy.
I’ve been working with a woman born from rape whose CICA case has been approved by a panel of judges. The CICA have appealed against the decision and we’re expecting another court hearing in late 2023. If we succeed again, the thousands of children born from rape will automatically qualify for compensation so I encourage anyone in this position to contact me now to start a claim (as the process takes many months).
If you have been affected by abuse and would like to speak to one of our specialist solicitors, please call us on 0800 138 4700, or contact us through via the website.