Child sexual abuse survivor calls for change in law to prevent rapists' access to children
28 Nov 2018
Sammy Woodhouse, campaigner and survivor of grooming and child sexual abuse, has spoken out after Rotherham Council informed the man convicted of raping her that he could request access to her son.
With Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh, Sammy is calling for a change to the 1989 Children's Act to prevent rapists gaining access to the children of their victims.
Rape Crisis England & Wales said:
"We're appalled to hear of this further distress and trauma caused to Sammy and her family.
We know this is far from an isolated incident. Victims and survivors across the country have sought support from our member Rape Crisis Centres around similar experiences. Clear guidance to ensure the consistent and appropriate application of current rules is urgently needed.
Rape Crisis is currently conducting a piece of research with the University of Warwick on this issue, which is due to be published in the new year.
We have called for a complete overhaul of the criminal justice system in relation to sexual violence, which is currently and routinely failing victims and survivors, for many years, and we include a full review of family courts practice in this call.
This case is further evidence of the widespread, long-term impacts of sexual violence and the trauma it causes, not only on victims and survivors themselves, but on their families and communities."