Daisy's Law: Children born as a result of rape to be recognised as victims by law for the first time

A Birmingham woman's campaign to have children born as a result of rape recognised has become law
Daisy's 13-year-old birth mother was raped by her 29-year-old birth father over four decades ago Credit: ITV News Central

Children born as a result of rape will be officially recognised as victims of crime and receive better support under changes announced by the government today.

It follows a campaign by organisations including the Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) to introduce what they called Daisy's Law.

Amendments to the impending Victims Bill will give people born as a result of rape access to support from criminal justice agencies, such as the police and courts.

The Victims Bill intends to improve victims' experiences of the criminal justice system, according to the government.

The provisions in the bill will affect all victims of crime, but it is anticipated those most affected will be victims of serious crime, including Violence Against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse.

What is Daisy's Law? And how was the legislation named?

The proposed legislation was named after a woman known only as Daisy, who was  conceived as a result of her 29-year-old birth father raping her 13-year-old birth mother.

Speaking to ITV Central, Daisy explained the trauma of what happened to her birth mother has followed her, her entire life.

"Birthdays really weighed heavily on me because that just marks the day I came into the world," she told ITV News.

"No one was celebrating my arrival - I arrived in the world as evidence of a rape and a child that needed to go into the care system because of that."

Before today’s law change children like Daisy, who were born of rape are considered an ‘aggravating factor’ of the attack, not as victims in their own right.

Therefore, if a rape-conceived person decided to report a suspect to the police, as Daisy did, their complaint is unlikely to be investigated. Nor would the victim have any legal right to request reasons for or a review of, the decision not to investigate further.

How has legislation changed for a person who was born out of rape?

The law will now acknowledge bereaved families and children who have witnessed domestic abuse and people born of rape as victims.

Criminal justice agencies will be obliged to make victims aware of the Victims Code and will be required to standardise data to allow comparison across police areas.

Carvel Bennett was jailed for rape in 2021 Credit: West Midlands Police

Although Daisy's birth mother reported what had happened at the time, her rapist denied everything, and police in Birmingham took no action.

For four decades, he continued his life as normal.

But Daisy began campaigning for officers to reopen the case.

“I have the DNA - I was walking proof that he had raped a child,” she said.

“My birth mother didn’t want to reopen that trauma, which I totally understand.

“And they wouldn’t open an investigation without the victim speaking up. And I don’t count.”

Carvel Bennett was found guilty of the historical rape in August 2021, in part due to ‘Daisy’, who is now in her 40s, allowing her DNA to be used to convict him.

Justice Secretary 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."