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Psychologists protest against ‘rape clause’ in family welfare cap

10 April 2017

Seventy-eight clinical psychologists have signed a letter published in today’s Guardian expressing concern at the latest change to the government’s welfare cap.

Under the new regulation, introduced this week, requiring women to sign a form saying they were raped if they wish to claim tax credits for a third child.

The letter says:

We strongly believe that the way in which this rape clause is to be administered will cause significant psychological harm. Given that a major reason that survivors of rape do not come forward is a legitimate fear of not being believed, it is unhelpful that the new process will ask women to provide evidence to support their claim.

It forces women to disclose details of their history to professionals for administrative reasons. This may cause flashbacks, renewed shame and emotional turmoil, and consequently affect how mothers bond with their children.

You can read the full letter on the Guardian website.

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