Glasgow lawyer uses crowdfunding to challenge '˜rape clause'

A Scottish legal firm has launched a crowdfunding page to challenge the UK government's tax credits '˜rape clause'.

Daniel James Donaldson , director of Legal Spark, who has is using crowdfunding to fight the 'rape clause.'

Legal Spark, based in Glasgow, hopes to raise £3,000-5,000 over the next 30 days using the popular crowdfunding platform CrowdJustice to pay for counsel’s opinion on the merit of taking a case to court.

Daniel Donaldson, the solicitor behind the campaign, said the legislation was a “violation of women’s dignity and of their children’s”.

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The policy, introduced in April, limits tax credits – an important welfare benefit – to the first two children in a family.

A woman who gives birth to a third child is entitled to apply for ‘compassionate’ exceptions. One such exception is that woman who has a child through non-consensual sex must prove that they were raped.

Mr Donaldson, whose practice is the first in Scotland to act as a social enterprise said: “Part of our work involves campaigning on important issues affecting human dignity.

“This is an important issue for us, our clients and stakeholders who have made it clear that the two-child family cap on tax credits has the potential to push many low-income families further into poverty

“It is also absurd for the Prime Minister to deny that there will any discernible human impact here.”

Mr Donaldson added: “The arguments concerning poverty have been ignored, as has the violation of women’s dignity, and the dignity of their children

“No one should have to prove they were raped to claim a welfare benefit purposely designed to help working families on low incomes”

Alison Thewliss, who as SNP MP for Glasgow Central led the campaign to scrap the rape clause, raising the issue many times in the House of Commons, said: “I commend Legal Spark on their crowdfunding initiative.

“The rape clause is an unworkable and immoral policy that forces women to relive the worst experiences of their lives to claim a benefit, and for that reason it must be challenged and opposed every step of the way.”

View the crowdfunding page here.