Rotherham sex abuse survivor campaigns to block rapists accessing their children

A petition started by Sammy Woodhouse to change the law allowing rapists access to their children now has over 250,000 signatures.

Rotherham based Ms Woodhouse started the petition yesterday as a response to the court allowing her abuser, Arshid Hussain, to seek visits with her son last year.

The petition calls for the Children’s Act 1989 to be amended so that any male with a child conceived by rape would be banned from applying for access.

John Healey MP wrote an open letter to Justice Secretary David Gauke backing the petition which he published on Twitter.

He said: “It is wrong to presume information and access should be granted to men guilty of rape and abuse which leads to supposed ‘parental’ connection.

“As it stands, the law is appallingly insensitive and hands the perpetrator an invitation to re-traumatise his victims.”

Louise Haigh MP has also shown a lot of support for the change in legislation and her name is attached to the petition.

Ms Woodhouse was one of the many victims of the Rotherham sexual abuse scandal that started in around 1997.

It is estimated that around 1,400 children were exploited between 1997 and 2013 but there could have been more.

Mr Hussain was one of three brothers who was jailed in 2016 for 35 years for being behind the grooming and exploitation of more than 50 girls.

Ms Woodhouse said on her change.org page that she was made to relive her trauma of emotional and sexual abuse after the court ruling last year but some women have it worse.

She said: “Rape victims like me around the UK are having to share access of their children with men who raped them.

“Some women are even having their children removed and custody given to the rapists.”

She has also received a mass of support on social media after waiving her anonymity to push for this change in legislation with one tweet being shared over 14,000 times.