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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 April 2017

Scrap the Tory 'rape clause' and all benefit attacks

End violence against women!, photo Louise Whittle

End violence against women!, photo Louise Whittle   (Click to enlarge)

'Joseph White', civil servants' union PCS member

Changes to child tax credits and the 'Universal Credit' benefit system will mean that people making a new claim from 6 April will have the number of children they can claim for capped at two. One exception to this is if the third child was born as a result of what the government calls "non-consensual conception."

However, in order to prove this was the case, there is an eight-page mandatory form that the victim will need to fill out.

Dubbed the "rape clause," it will require the claimant not only to name the child the exception will apply to, but also have a "third-party professional" fill out part of the form.

This represents a new low for the government.

Disgracefully, the exemption will not apply to claimants who still live with their rapist - despite a British Crime Survey finding that 45% of rapes happen within current relationships. Attacks can be extremely difficult for victims to disclose, let alone prove.

In evidence presented to the House of Lords, the manager of the Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre said: "We have more than 30 years' worth of empirical evidence that tells us that the most dangerous time for a woman and her children is at the point of leaving an abuser. In the UK a woman is murdered every three days by a partner or ex-partner."

This latest attack on women compounds the threat posed by the housing benefit cap, which could close two-thirds of the already insufficient number of women's refuges.

Women and children need material support to escape abusive relationships and live stable, independent lives. The Tories' rape clause punishes victims and will endanger lives for the sake of reducing the bosses' tax burden.

The Socialist Party says: scrap the rape clause. Reverse all benefit cuts and fund secure, genuinely affordable housing for all. You can't fight domestic violence without also fighting the cuts.

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In The Socialist 12 April 2017:


NHS SOS

Victory! Health workers walk out

Hundreds march to save the NHS in Carlisle

Carlisle NHS privateers leave patients at risk

NHS SOS round-up


Save our schools!

School cuts can be beaten with a strategy to win

Cuts leave schools unable to meet basic needs


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Cardiff: Labour right rattled by anti-cuts TUSC

Doncaster: Socialist Steve's growing support


International socialist news and analysis

Attacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

France: Groundswell of support for left candidates

Ireland: Bury the water charges


Socialist Party news and analysis

Scrap the Tory 'rape clause' and all benefit attacks

Thousands left with 50p for rent - cap rents, not benefits

47,000 kids exposed to illegal toxic air

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Solid strike across the rail network against unsafe driver-only operation

PCS election: Vote Democracy Alliance

Car workers strike at BMW in defence of pensions

Derby teaching assistants accept offer to end pay dispute

PCS protest

Arts unions agree joint campaign work


Livingstone, Labour and anti-Semitism

Livingstone, Labour and anti-Semitism


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Excellent Socialist Party trade union meeting

Last quarter's fighting fund target smashed, now make our voice heard in elections

Action against cuts at Solent University

Police officers face misconduct charges over attack on 'freedom ride'

Newham socialists attend 'I, Daniel Blake' film night

KCL housing 'wall of shame'


 

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Related links:

Universal Credit:

triangleUniversal credit: set up to fail

triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

triangleWaltham Forest Universal Credit protest

triangleWakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangleCarlisle socialists campaign against Universal Credit

Rape:

triangle1967 Abortion Act reflected social changes

triangleLessons from the Russian revolution for LGBT+ struggle today

triangleWomen and austerity - scrap the 'rape clause'

triangleBenefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

Women:

triangleFighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

triangleUnison national women's conference

triangle100 years since women won the vote

Children:

triangleTragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

triangleFailing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

Cuts:

triangleBradford Socialist Party: A strategy to defeat the cuts

Claimants:

triangleThousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

Domestic violence:

triangleDefend Louise Harrison - save Yorkshire women's services!

Housing benefit:

triangleTories u-turn on social housing benefit cap and borrowing to build

Tax credits:

triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

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