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5th December 2018

SNP Campaigns Against Rape Clause Coming to Stirling

Maureen Bennison and Alastair MacPherson

The SNP Group on Stirling Council is to begin campaigning locally against the rape clause coming to Stirling.

The two child cap on child tax credits means that the Department for Work and Pensions will no longer support three or more children in a family. However, an exception is made when a woman has conceived a child through rape.

In such circumstances, women are required to fill out a form to prove that they have been raped to the State. 

The Tory UK Government policy has been widely criticised for being insensitive and out of touch – including by leading women’s and rape charities.

The policy is being rolled out across the UK, and is due to arrive in Stirling in February.

Commenting, Councillor Maureen Bennison said:

“The two child limit is a poorly thought out policy, written on the back of an envelope by a Tory Government intent on dragging equality and women’s rights back to the 19th century.

“The idea that a rape victim should have to explain herself to the State in order to get support for her child is degrading and misogynist.

“People in Stirling don’t want this. It’s time that this Tory Government dropped this vile policy before they impose it on Stirling, as they have done with disastrous Universal Credit.”

Councillor Alasdair MacPherson added:

“Tory MP Stephen Kerr has been a relentless cheerleader for Universal Credit and the disgusting rape clause.

“Now that the rape clause is on the doorstep of his constituency, I invite him to change his mind and fight the corner of the most vulnerable for a change.

“The idea that a woman who has gone through the ordeal of a rape should be made to do this is frankly disgusting. But it’s what we’ve sadly come to expect from this draconian Tory Government.”

In response, a representative of Forth Valley Rape Crisis said:

Forth Valley Rape Crisis has serious concerns about the impact of this policy on rape survivors in Central Scotland and everywhere else in this country. There are very many reasons why survivors of rape feel unable or choose not to disclose what has happened, and forcing them to choose between disclosing sexual violence in order to access benefits – or deeper poverty – is inhumane and completely unacceptable”