In a pioneering move, the UK has taken a significant step forward in recognizing the rights of children born as a result of rape. The introduction of Daisy’s Law, an amendment to the UK’s new Victims Bill, aims to provide legal recognition and support to those who have long been affected by the circumstances of their birth. This blog post delves into the implications of this law and the journey that led to its creation.
At the heart of this legislation is Daisy, a woman born of rape in the 1970s. Daisy’s birth father evaded justice until 2021, leaving a lasting impact on her life. To protect her mother’s identity, Daisy has chosen to withhold her surname due to concerns for her mother’s safety. She was adopted and ‘reunited’ with her parents in 2021 during the trial of her father, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison. In her campaign for change, Daisy sought to ensure that children born of rape would be acknowledged as victims and receive the support they deserve.
Children born of rape often face unique emotional, psychological, and social challenges. They may carry a burden that stems from the traumatic circumstances of their conception, affecting their well-being throughout adulthood. The Centre for Women’s Justice estimates between 2,080 and 3,356 children in England and Wales could have been conceived through rape during 2021. Of those pregnancies estimated to have been conceived through sexual violence, around 30% result in termination and another 30% result in adoption. This signifies the intergenerational harm caused by sexual violence, with long-term effects on children and their lives.
Daisy’s Law marks a significant milestone in recognizing the rights of children born of rape in the UK. By incorporating it into the Victims Bill, the UK becomes one of the pioneering nations to legally acknowledge these individuals as victims of crime. The law not only provides support and protection but also creates awareness about the challenges faced by victims of rape and their children within the family court system. With Daisy’s Law, the UK takes a significant step towards fostering a more just and compassionate society for all.