A woman conceived through child rape wants to use her DNA to prosecute her father, describing herself as ‘a walking crime scene’.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, was adopted when she was seven-months-old. When she turned 18 she was given her adoption files – and discovered her biological mother was a 13-year-old girl who was raped by a 35-year-old family friend.
Have a look at a clip from the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme below:
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) August 5, 2019
As heard on Victoria Derbyshire, the complainant said:
I’d always thought that it was so wrong that my birth father was never prosecuted, It was then that I thought, I’ve got DNA evidence, because I am DNA evidence. I’m a walking crime scene.
The woman intends to bring a ‘victimless prosecution’ against her father. This would mean no evidence is submitted by the victim of an alleged crime, because the law does not recognise her as a victim. Nor does the mother wish to be involved in legal matters, as she doesn’t want to go through the process again after not being listened to the first time she reported the rape.
The woman added on the BBC programme:
To find out you were born through a horrendous act of violence, against a child, and that people knew… it says in seven different places in the files that it was rape. The fact that she was 13 means that it was statutory rape, cause he had sex with a minor. It states his name and address that social services, police and health workers knew, but nothing was done about it.
The woman says that her mum was from a black, working-class community, and she ‘can’t help but think attitudes at the time had something to do with’ the lack of action.
Chief superintendent Pete Henrick, head of West Midlands police’s public protection unit, said there was no record of a rape allegation or investigation in 1975. ‘In 2014, a woman asked us to open an historical investigation. However, the alleged victim did not want to cooperate or provide a statement,’ he said.
As reported by The Guardian, Ch Supt Henrick added:
In light of this, the woman asked whether she could be identified as a victim herself and if the case could be progressed on those grounds. The law does not recognise this person as a victim in these circumstances: we liaised with the Crown Prosecution Service and were advised they would not support a prosecution.
The woman says that it had always made her angry that her father had never been prosecuted, but it wasn’t until other sexual abuse cases started to emerge, such as the various allegations against Jimmy Savile, that she decided to pursue it.
Jess Phillips, an MP for Birmingham Yardley who also worked for the Women’s Aid Federation of England, said the woman should be considered a victim by law.
As reported by The Guardian, Phillips said:
We have long fought, those of us who have been fighting for women’s justice for many years, for the idea that children in both domestic and sexual violence circumstances have to be considered not just hapless bystanders in those crimes, but in fact they deeply affect their lives. As somebody whose teenage children live in Birmingham where this alleged perpetrator has been allowed to live completely freely without any action or fear of the law [relating to] what he is alleged to have done – absolutely it is in the public interest.
The woman said meeting her birth father was ‘the most surreal 40 minutes’ of her life – especially after he didn’t deny having sex with her mother. She added that she simply wants him to be held accountable.
The woman said:
I wanted justice for my mum. I wanted justice for me. The ramifications of what he chose to do have shaped my entire life … and he’s been able to get away with it and just live his life.
In April, The Independent reported that the proportion of rapes prosecuted in England and Wales had fallen to just 1.7%.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30). Alternatively you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111.
After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.