“This is just the beginning”, says campaigning Sammy Woodhouse after law change victory

CAMPAIGNING Sammy Woodhouse celebrated a change in the law to protect children born through rape — but added: “This is just the beginning.”

England and Wales are among the first countries to formally recognise that youngsters born through such horrific circumstances should be treated as victims in their own right.

Rotherham CSE whistleblower Sammy (37) became pregnant with her first child at 14 after being groomed and raped.

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She campaigned with another woman — “Daisy,” who was conceived through rape — in pressuring the Ministry of Justice to act.

Sammy said: “Daisy was trying to get this law passed but not many people wanted to listed to her.

“I’ve spoken to many other people who had been through the same thing, and I know about it from first-hand experience, so I said I would get on board.

“It’s an ongoing problem, and there’s no support in this country whatsoever.

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“I contacted the police, the National Crime Agency, people in government, and they all came back saying there’s nothing being done.

“It’s a problem for communities as a whole, but it’s a subject that no-one wants to talk about.”

She added: “Everyone I spoke to who has been through this says it’s a problem in the community.

“Children get called ‘rape babies’.

“For me, as a victim of rape and sexual abuse, there are services I can go to with people who have been trained.

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“For my son, he can’t do that. He’s got no rights in law whatsoever.

“So this is a huge thing. It’s the first time it’s been achieved anywhere in the world.

“It would have completely changed our lives, I know it would have.”

Sammy told her son about his dad when he was nine.

Their situation was later exacerbated by the international media interest in the court proceedings against the father.

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Now 21, Sammy’s son helped with this campaign by writing to MPs and ministers, and his mum was surprised by how quickly their efforts led to victory.

“I’m so used to having brick walls put in front of me,” she added.

“I’m used to the struggle and the fight but I welcome it, but it’s important that people know this is only the start.”

Sammy said she was arranging meetings with authorities in Rotherham to explore how the change in law can lead to practical support being put in place.

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The government says amending the upcoming Victims Bill will clarify that children born through rape are entitled to support from criminal justice agencies like the police and courts.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said: “No child born in these horrific circumstances should be left to suffer alone, which is why we must ensure they can access vital support whenever they may need it.

“Our Victims Bill will amplify their voices and boost support for all victims at every stage of the justice system.”

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