Campaigning MP: Northern Ireland MPs must unite to scrap rape clause

Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, has called on Northern Ireland’s MPs to join her campaign to scrap the UK Government’s two child policy and rape clause, following a rally against the policy in Belfast today.

The campaigning MP spoke at the rally, which was hosted by Reclaim the Agenda and Women’s Aid Federation of Northern Ireland, and highlighted the risk that existing criminal laws place on vulnerable women and third party professionals for failing to disclose that the crime of rape had taken place.

Ms Thewliss is now writing to every MP in Northern Ireland to seek their support for her campaign to end the UK Government’s abhorrent two child policy and rape clause.
Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“Women in Northern Ireland sent a clear message to the UK Government today – the rape clause stigmatises vulnerable women, places them and professionals at risk of criminalisation and will cause greater poverty and misery, both in Northern Ireland and across the UK.

“Women in abusive relationships in Northern Ireland should not have to choose either entering the criminal justice system or struggling to make ends meet to support their families. The chilling effect of the rape clause on rape victims will discourage women from speaking out about the horrific crimes committed against them, which no-one, regardless of their party political persuasion, wants to see happen in a civilised society.

“MPs from all major political parties in Northern Ireland must now combine efforts to end the suffering that women and families have endured from changes to child tax credit entitlement. With the UK Government now reliant on the support of Northern Ireland MPs to survive votes in the House of Commons, it’s time for a renewed cross party effort to consign the poorly thought-out and abhorrent rape clause to the Downing Street dustbin.”

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