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Sickening ‘Rape Clause’ will disproportionately impact women in the north – Gildernew

22 September, 2017 - by Michelle Gildernew

The Tories’ disgusting ‘rape clause’ will disproportionately impact women in the north of Ireland due to legal complexities, Michelle Gildernew MP has said.

The policy, which will force women to prove that they were raped if they wish to claim child tax credits for a third child, may criminalise service workers dealing with the vulnerable women in question for not disclosing these traumatic incidents under the Criminal Law Act of 1967.

The Fermanagh South Tyrone MP said:

“The very idea of this policy is a clear indication of the inhumanity and cruelty that has characterised the Tories’ war on welfare, and assault on the poor.

“This approach adopted by the British government specifically targets women, children and those living in poverty.

“It is now clear that this will have a disproportionate impact on women residing in the north.

“If women are forced to disclose a rape to claim child tax credits, service workers from a variety of areas who gain knowledge of the incident may be liable for prosecution if they don’t disclose it to police.

“This is an immoral and entirely unjustified position for someone to be placed in for simply doing their job and aiding the vulnerable.

“This is a dark chapter in the Tories' already damning treatment of society’s most vulnerable. They now have a moral obligation to bring this disgraceful attack on women, and the poor, to an end."

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