19th January 2023

Statement on the Government’s response to the draft Victims Bill

I am pleased to see the Government’s response to the Justice Select Committee’s pre-legislative scrutiny report on the draft Victims Bill, specifically the confirmation that they will amend the Bill to include children born as the result of rape within the definition of a victim, as well as children who have witnessed domestic abuse.

This is something I have long called for and has been informed by the passionate campaigning of survivors, whose calls have been listened to and acted on. I am hopeful that by giving legal recognition of children born through rape as victims, it will dispel the stigma and shame which is often felt acutely, but silently, by mothers and children born through sexual violence, while also ensuring they are entitled to the right support when they need it.

I look forward to working closely with the Government on the development of the Victims Code, ensuring that child victims’ voices are heard. As this Bill progresses, I will continue to campaign for the rights of child victims to be represented in the legislative process.