5 things you can do to help call on the UK Government to scrap the 'family cap' and 'rape clause'
This week, we've released a special edition of #FridayFeministFive focusing on our campaign calling on the UK Government to scrap the abhorrent ‘family cap’ and ‘rape clause’. Here we list 5 simple things you can do to help.
1) Sign the petition
We, along with Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland, have submitted a petition to the UK Parliament petitions committee. The ‘family cap’ and ‘rape clause’ hasn’t been debated in the UK Parliament (despite being raised 25 times by Alison Thewliss MP) and this petition is one of the best ways we can help secure a debate. For that to happen we need 100,000 people to sign it. This is no mean feat, so as well as signing the petition, we’ve set out some other ways you can help us spread the word. Sign the petition here.
2) Share the petition
Please share the petition far and wide, on social media like Facebook and Twitter, but also by asking friends, family and colleagues directly. We know there are always hundreds of petitions out there, so we want you to ask 5 people personally to sign this one. A text, email or a chat in person means it’s much more likely someone will take action on an issue than just seeing it in their news feed. This is a UK-wide issue that will affect not just women and children in Scotland but also families in Northern Ireland, Wales and England, so spreading the word is essential.
3) Boost the petition
Please contact your MP, MSP and local Councillors (and candidates!) and ask them to sign and share the petition. Not only does that help us spread the word further, but it allows us to see who’s supporting our call to scrap the ‘family cap’ and ‘rape clause’.
You can contact your elected reps in lots of ways. If you already use social media the simplest thing is just to tweet them or to post the request on their wall, but you can find more traditional ways to contact them here.
4) Show your support
We’ve created a Twibbon (a graphic overlay for your profile picture on Facebook or Twitter) so you can show your opposition to the ‘family cap’ and ‘rape clause’. Get it here!
5) Stay informed, and educate others
There’s been loads of excellent writing on the rape clause from journalists, commentators and, of course, the women’s sector. Check out some of the best below, and share them with others.
We’ll be keeping our members updated via Friday Feminist Five and on our social media channels. We also have an occasional mailing list for folk interested in staying updated on our work on social security which you can sign up for here.
Hilary Duncanson & Laura Paterson: Hundreds call for scrapping of the 'despicable' rape clause (Scotsman) // Peter Walker & Patrick Butler: Government under fire over new child tax credit form for rape victims (Guardian) // Dani Garavelli: Rape clause shames the benefit system (Scotsman) // Sandy Brindley & Marsha Scott: Why our charities refuse to have anything to do with the rape clause (The National) // Alys Mumford: 5 things you need to know about the 'family cap' and 'rape clause' (Engender Blog) // Neil Riddell: Local agency condemns Tories 'rape clause' (Shetland News) // Steven Hopkins: 'Two-child' benefits limit could push 200,000 children to poverty, charities say (Huffington Post UK) // Ceris Aston: Scrap the clause (Bella Caledonia) // Patrick Butler & Peter Walker: Tax credit 'rape rule' puts Northern Irish women in legal peril, charities say (Guardian) // Juliet Swann: Explaining secondary legislation and the rape clause (Engender Blog) // Brian Donnelly: SNP Minister and charities attack UK child benefits rape clause (The Herald) // Mandy Rhodes: The rape clause is just the latest attack on women's rights (Holyrood Magazine)
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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: Child Tax Credit and Child Element of Universal Credit ('Family Cap') Debate Engender's briefing in advance of the Scottish Parliament debate on Child Tax Credit and Child Element of Universal Credit (known as the 'family cap', and including the so-called 'rape clause').
Engender Response to UK Government Consultation on Exceptions to the Reforms Which Limit the Child Elements in Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit to a Maximum of Two Children Engender fundamentally rejects the principles behind both reducing vital social security for mothers of more than two children, and making an exception where a child is conceived as a result of rape.
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