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.

Katie Ghose
Chief Executive, Women’s Aid Federation of England
Jan Melia
Chief Executive, Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland
Dr Marsha Scott
Chief Executive, Scottish Women’s Aid
Eleri Butler
Chief Executive, Welsh Women’s Aid
Katharine Sacks-Jones
Director, Agenda Alliance
Donna Covey
Director, AVA
Guy Shennan
Chairman, British Association of Social Workers
Dr Ruth Allen
Chief Executive, British Association of Social Workers
Ann Furedi
Chief Executive, BPAS
Kathy Evans
Chief Executive, Children England
Matthew Reed
Chief Executive, The Children’s Society
Rachel Krys
Co-Director, End Violence Against Women and Girls Coalition
Emma Ritch
Executive Director, Engender
Sam Smethers
Chief Executive, Fawcett Society
Rosie Ferguson
Chief Executive, Gingerbread
Marai Larasi
Chief Executive, Imkaan
Hareem Ghani
Shuwanna Aaron
Gwyneth Sweatman

National Union of Students Women’s Officers in the UK, Scotland and Wales
Dianne Whitfield
Dawn Thomas

Co-Chairmen, Rape Crisis England and Wales
Estelle du Boulay
Chief Executive, Rights of Women
Gill Walton
Chief Executive, Royal College of Midwives
Diana Barran
Chief Executive, SaveLives
Nicole Jacobs
Chief Executive, Standing Together
Sharon Greene
National Women’s Officer, Unison
Siobhan Endean
National Officer for Equalities, Unite the union
Mark Castle
Chief Executive, Victim Support
Laura Payne
Programme Manager, 4in10 Programme

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