Those who fall pregnant and conceive their baby through rape will now have to complete an 8-page ‘rape assessment’ form in order to receive child tax credit. The government will now only be giving parents child tax credits for the first two children, with some exceptions. One of these exceptions is if the third child was conceived through rape.
Simply, it isn’t the governments business whether you were raped or not, and you shouldn’t be forced to relive it and prove that it happened. The assessment form is required to be signed by a health professional, therefore forcing you to speak to even more people about what happened to you. You should never be forced to speak to anyone about any abuse that happened to you. Many people who have been raped do not seek any type of help (such as counselling) through fear of reliving it, so what makes the government think they will do this for money? If they choose to access help, it should be done so by their own free will, not out of fear of poverty.
This rape clause does not apply to those who are still in a relationship with the other parent. In order to receive any support for your child, you need to leave the other parent. This shows that the government does not understand how complex abuse within relationships is; it definitely is not something that can be defined in black or white. There are many reasons why someone would stay with the person who abused them. To name just one, sometimes people are stuck within their relationship and cannot leave. Abuse exists in relationships, so the government needs to reflect that in their rules and laws when it comes to protecting vulnerable people and helping those who need it.
When someone conceives their child through rape they should be entitled to child tax credit and support without being forced to relive it, speak to healthcare professionals or support workers, seek help and face rejection because they are still with the other parent.
This 8-page form is overly intrusive and while this form exists, vulnerable people are being abused by the state. We need to act now to get this rape clause removed.
For those interested, here is where you can find the assessment form.