Child benefit rules in Northern Ireland may criminalise women

Lawyers confirm that women seeking exemption from two-child limit due to rape, may risk legal action if they did not report sex crime to police

Women in Northern Ireland who seek exemption from the government’s new two-child benefits limit on grounds of rape, could face prosecution, along with social workers and medical staff, prosecutors have confirmed.

Changes to child tax credits and universal credit place a limit on claims to a maximum of two children, with a handful of exceptions. One of the exemptions is where a woman can show an additional child was conceived through non-consensual sex.

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