Jailed rapist given chance to see victim’s child
A child sex abuse victim is alleging her jailed rapist was offered the chance to see her son, who was born as a result of the attack.
Sammy Woodhouse, who has waived her legal right to anonymity in a bid to help other victims, released a video on Tuesday calling for the British government to change the law.
This is after a local council in the English city of Rotherham offered her rapist the option to apply “parental rights” over her son, she alleges.
Woodhouse was attacked when she was a teen.
“This story is actually about myself, about my son, and about the man that raped me,” she said in the video posted on Twitter.
“And the fact that Rotherham Council have offered him to apply for parental rights over my child even though (it was) proven in a court of law — that (he) was sentenced to 35 years — that he was a danger to myself and to other children.”
Alongside British Member of Parliament Louise Haigh, Woodhouse is advocating for a change of law in the 1989 of Children’s Act to ensure that “rapists can’t gain access to children conceived through rape and abuse,” she said.
The issue arose when the council sought alternative care for her son — a move taken with the support of Woodhouse, as she was unable to cope with her troubled son’s complex needs, the Times of London reports.
The local council is obliged by law to notify all respondents — including people with “parental responsibility” — of the case, the newspaper said.
But her rapist, identified by the UK Press Association as Arshid Hussain, was listed by the council as a respondent even though he did not have parental responsibility nor was he listed as the boy’s father on his birth certificate, the Times reports.
Woodhouse was told during a court hearing that her abuser was consulted on the case and that he would be allowed to attend court and seek legal representation.
He may even be authorised visitation rights, or her son could be placed in the custody of Hussain’s relatives, the Times reports.
“I was absolutely mortified when I found out and the fact as well that they did not even tell me what they were doing until I was actually at court,” she told Good Morning Britain on Wednesday.
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