Daisy’s Law – New measures to recognise children born as a result of rape

Children born as a result of rape will officially be recognised as victims of crime and receive better support under changes announced by the Government. Here, Rubecca Rahman, McAlister Family Law Paralegal, looks at what the introduction of ‘Daisy’s Law’ will mean for children, victims and survivors of sexual abuse.

On 19th January 2023 the Government announced that children born as a result of rape will officially be recognised as victims. This follows the Government’s intention to further support victims of such heinous crimes and allow them the opportunity to make the individual accountable for d the crime.

Government statistics suggest that highest ever number of rapes within a 12-month period was recorded by police in the year ending September 2022 and in that same time period, charges were brought in just 2,616 rape cases.[1]

The UK government has announced these changes to the law which will recognise children as victims under the proposal ‘Daisy’s Law.’ England and Wales will be amongst the first countries in the world to bring about such change to their legislation, recognising the horrific circumstances that these children suffer due to no fault of their own.

At present, the lack of explicit reference to people born as a result of rape in the Victims’ Code, which is essentially a code of practice which sets out the minimum standard that all organisations must provide to victims of crime.[2] makes it very difficult for them to claim support and entitlements such as being provided with information about their case. The new laws will allow such children to receive specialist care and support from the criminal justice system which they may have otherwise not have had access to. The change will also allow victims to access counselling and therapy much easier as the government is committed to delivering better outcomes for victims and survivors of sexual abuse.

This landmark piece of legislation follows recommendations from the Justice Select Committee as it seeks to put the needs and voices of victims at the heart of the justice system and increase the accountability of agencies.

The Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) found that children born as a result of rape were at risk of suffering serious and long-term harm due to the distressing circumstances of their birth, from infancy well into later life.[3]

Daisy’s Law

Daisy was conceived as a result of rape in the 1970’s and her biological father, Mr Carvel Bennet was never brought to justice, despite her mother reporting the report at the time. He was eventually brought to justice in 2021 using Daisy’s DNA.[4]

As a child, Daisy was raised by an adoptive family, shielded from the truth about the circumstances of her birth. Once she turned 18, she requested her adoption file, hoping to learn more about her birth family and was horrified to learn that her birth mother had become pregnant with her at just 13 years of age. Eventually, Daisy was able to establish a contact with her birth mother and campaigned for her biological father to be brought to justice, offering her DNA as evidence that could be used to prove the prosecution case.

Once this matter was brought before the court, the police were able to secure a conviction against her biological father. Under the criminal law proceedings, Daisy had no rights within law to be kept informed of the progress of the investigation or the prosecution as she was not recognised as a victim of the crime. She therefore worked effortlessly to raise awareness in the press of the difficulties she faced by not being recognised as a secondary victim of rape.

Final thoughts

It is hoped that by working together with other countries to develop a recognised framework, children born of sexual violence will not be disadvantaged by the circumstances of their birth. The call to action has already been endorsed by several countries and organisations and it is hoped this change will have a huge impact on the way matters are dealt with in and out of proceedings and to the victims and those affected by it.


If you need advice on this topic, or any other matters concerning divorce or family law, please get in touch with our team at McAlister Family Law.



[1] https://rapecrisis.org.uk/get-informed/statistics-sexual-violence/


[2] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/974376/victims-code-2020.pdf

[3] https://www.centreforwomensjustice.org.uk/news/2022/8/15/daisys-law-new-research-commissioned-by-centre-for-womens-justice-demonstrates-why-children-born-from-rape-should-be-recognised-as-victims-in-law

[4] https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5aa98420f2e6b1ba0c874e42/t/62fa26731a8f4921aef8545c/1660561012202/Daisy%27s+story.pdf


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