Cute piggybank image to reflect Child law

Children born of rape, victims of crime

Government announce their Victims Bill


decorative image for guidance blogThe Government have recently announced their Victims Bill, which if it becomes law would change the status of children born of rape.

Research suggests that such children suffer a variety of challenges right through to adulthood. These can start with attachment issues because their victim mothers find it hard to bond with them due to the circumstances of their conception. That can then translate to mental health, drug and alcohol problems affecting those children throughout their lives.

Up until now though such children have not been regarded legally as victims of crime. That can have a number of consequences such as not being entitled to be part of the criminal proceedings involving their rapist fathers or receiving help and support as victims.

The Government is proposing to change that by designating them as victims which would mean that they could, for example, make a complaint about the rape to police in their own right without having to rely on their mothers being able to do so and they could access services such as drug and alcohol dependency support.

An interesting example of how this may work is so called Daisy’s law named after the child of a rape victim who was 13 when the rape took place. Daisy had to fight long and hard to prosecute her father who was eventually convicted of the rape of her mother at the age of 13.

If the children born of rape become officially recognised as victims of crime it raises some questions as to whether they can then claim compensation as such.

There are at present some barriers to this. The law does not generally recognise the birth of an undamaged child as an actionable claim because it is so hard to quantify. How do you quantify the loss caused by the birth of a healthy child? What is that worth in money terms? The birth of a child with health problems can be quantified because there is the cost of care and treatment etc. So it begs the question of whether if a child born of rape suffers health issues, such as drug dependency, is that a quantifiable loss that can lead to a claim?

Theoretically it may be possible in those circumstances to sue the rapist father for compensation but practically most such fathers have no money, so may not be worth suing by their children.

There is also the Criminal injuries Compensation scheme which is a scheme run with Government money to compensate the victims of Crime who have suffered an injury. A barrier to claims under that may be that the Court of Appeal has said that a child conceived by rape does not actually exist at the moment of the rape so cannot have suffered an injury.

But these are all complex legal questions where the answers are not clear. It is a developing area of law. Designating the children of rape as recognised victims of crime may also change some of the law in this area. If you have been the victim of crime our website will enable you to find a solicitor who specialises in criminal law in a location near you, simply search at clicking SRA regulated, Criminal (under services offered) and typing a location in the search bar.  

We have lots of free guidance to help you better understand your legal needs at and you might be surprised at what you learn.

Why not keep up to date with all our free guidance? Simply follow our Facebook page at and you will have access to all our latest free guidance as it is published.