Thursday, January 19, 2023

Rape children are to be recognized as victims for the first time under the new law

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It follows a campaign by organizations including the Center for Women’s Justice (CWJ) to introduce what is known as Daisy’s Law.

Changes to the forthcoming Victims Act will give people born as a result of rape access to support from criminal justice agencies such as the police and courts.

According to the government, the Victims Act aims to improve victims’ experience of the criminal justice system.

The provisions of the draft law will affect all victims of crime, but those most affected are expected to be victims of serious crime, including violence against women and girls and domestic violence.

What is Daisy’s Law? And how was the law named?

The proposed law was named after a woman known only as Daisy, who was conceived as a result of her 29-year-old biological father raping her 13-year-old biological father.

Before today’s law change, children like Daisy who were born to rape would be considered an “aggravating factor” in the assault, not victims in their own right.

So if a raped person decides to report a suspect to the police, as Daisy did, their complaint is unlikely to be followed up. The victim would also have no legal right to justification or review of the decision not to investigate further.

How has the legislation changed for a person born of rape?

The law now recognizes bereaved families and children who have witnessed domestic violence and people born of rape as victims.

Criminal justice authorities have a duty to make victims aware of the Victims’ Code and to standardize the data to enable comparison between police departments.

The trauma of Daisy’s birth mother has haunted her throughout her life.

“Birthdays weighed really heavily on me because that’s just the day I was born,” she told Latest Page News.

“Nobody celebrated my arrival – I was born as evidence of a rape and a child who had to be placed in the foster care system because of it.”

Although her biological mother reported what happened at the time, her rapist denied everything and the police intervened Birmingham did nothing.

For four decades he continued his life normally.

But Daisy began lobbying for officials to reopen the case.

“I have the DNA — I proved he raped a child,” she said.

“My birth mother didn’t want to relive that trauma, which I totally understand.

“And they wouldn’t start an investigation without the victim speaking up. And I don’t count.”

Carvel Bennett was found guilty of historic rape in August 2021, in part because “Daisy,” who is now in her 40s, allowed her DNA to be used to convict him.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: “No child born in these appalling circumstances should be left alone, which is why we must ensure they have access to vital support whenever they need it.

“Our Victims Bill will amplify their voices and strengthen support for all victims at every stage of the justice system.”

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