This is the joint website of  Women Against Rape and Black Women's Rape Action Project. Both organisations are based on self-help and provide support, legal information and advocacy. We campaign for justice and protection for all women and girls, including asylum seekers, who have suffered sexual, domestic and/or racist violence.

WAR was founded in 1976. It has won changes in the law, such as making rape in marriage a crime, set legal precedents and achieved compensation for many women. BWRAP was founded in 1991. It focuses on getting justice for women of colour, bringing out the particular discrimination they face. It has prevented the deportation of many rape survivors. Both organisations are multiracial.

 

 

 

Demanding Justice and protection from the Police and CPS

Camden group's battle to prioritise a heinous crime

In the Media

Those who help victims of rape need more funding, says Lisa Longstaff of Camden's Women Against Rape team

Viewpoint, Hampstead & Highgate Express, 2 April 2009

Lisa194cropHHart.JPGYour readers may have seen the widespread coverage of police negligence in the recent cases of convicted serial rapists Worboys and Reid.

Based in Camden for over 30 years, WAR has spearheaded a movement of rape survivors demanding justice from the criminal justice system. In those years while fighting many individual cases, we have

-- won recognition that rape in marriage is a crime (1991).

-- helped bring the first successful private prosecution for rape (1995).

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Rape victims don't want tea and sympathy but protection and justice

In the Media

DSC04318LisaGDN.JPGDespite claims of 'progress', conviction rates for rape and violent crime have not risen, says Lisa Longstaff

The Guardian, Thursday 2 April 2009 

Following the disasters of the John Worboys and Kirk Reid rape cases, assistant Met commissioner John Yates admits that "nothing can excuse the failure to follow up straightforward lines of inquiry" (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/26/john-yates-police Reinventing our response, 27 March).

But he tries to soften the blow by quoting a victim of Worboys - caught after years and maybe hundreds of victims - who told officers: "The most amazing thing you said when I first called up was, 'You will be believed.'"

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Press Release: If Sapphire had been created to protect this rapist, they couldn’t have done a better job.

Appeal: The police are asking women who may have been raped or sexually assaulted by John Worboys to come forward. We too would like to be in touch with you. Please email: war@womenagainstrape.net or call (020) 7482 2496, and leave a message and your number.

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So many ways to deny justice to victims of rape

Press release on Harry Cohen's sleepwalking Bill

Harry Cohen has shown his commitment to victims of rape over many years, working to improve the response of the legal authorities. We welcome his 10-Minute Rule Bill on 15 October to exclude the defence of sleepwalking from rape cases, on grounds that unlike a defence of insanity it exempts perpetrators from any consequence for what they have done and offers no protection to others they may attack.

The defence of sleep walking is rare, but the ways in which victims of rape and sexual assault are commonly denied justice are many.

Comparable to sleepwalking but much more widespread is the defence of “belief in consent”. Based on the woman’s sexual history with other men, the accused can argue that he believed the woman consented. And this is while he is awake! This sexual history is not relevant to the case and should not be raised in court.

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Report of Public Trial: The rape of justice – who’s guilty?

Three judges at the Trial

On Saturday 16th February, rape survivors and their supporters packed a London church to charge those who are supposed to protect us -- the police, Crown Prosecution Service, judges, ministers and immigration authorities -- with the “rape of justice”.

By Bridget Symonds and Lisa Longstaff, Women Against Rape. Published in Women's News, Ireland's feminist magazine, May/June 2008
Photos by Crossroads Women's Photo Collective

Nearly 30 rape survivors, several young survivors’ mothers, one husband, and a representative of Iraqi women took the “witness” stand in front of a “prosecutor” and three “judges” from Women Against Rape, Black Women’s Rape Action Project and Legal Action for Women, to give their devastating testimonies. The audience acted as jury.

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Press Release: demand the protection of women who report rape and the prosecution of the Daily Mail for breaching their anonymity

WOMEN AGAINST RAPE, other victims’ organisations, doctors, solicitors and barristers* write to the Attorney General to demand the protection of women who report rape and the prosecution of the Daily Mail for breaching their anonymity

The public everywhere are horrified at the shocking murders of five young women in Ipswich, and are demanding that women´s safety is prioritised. Yet women who report rape have been under unprecedented attack from the legal establishment, some have even been imprisoned and our protective legal right to anonymity has been breached by the Daily Mail, which has so far gone unpunished.

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'Don't you want to know why I'm bleeding?' Man convicted of GBH against a Muslim woman, Guardian 2 Aug 06

In the Media
Bilan Mohamud shows the injuries inflicted on her by a neighbour

An assault by a white neighbour on a Muslim woman in London has shown just how difficult it can be for victims of alleged racist attacks to prise open the doors of justice.


Laura Smith
reports
Wednesday August 2, 2006
The Guardian Society

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Ian Huntley was not a one-off

In the Media

Fatally lax policing practices allowed Ian Huntley to repeat offend and work at a school. But, shockingly, this is the norm for violence against girls and women, say Claire Glasman and Lisa Longstaff

The Independent, LAW, 6 January 2004

It took the murder of two children in Soham to expose, yet again, how often the police do not act to protect women and girls. In the eight years before he killed Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, there were at least 11 reports of Ian Huntley's sexual offences against young girls and under-age teenagers. Huntley was rarely charged or even interviewed, and he was never convicted. Time after time, the police ignored evidence or failed to make further investigations about Huntley's offending. And, in addition to the reported incidents, several ex-girlfriends have since said that they suffered violence - being beaten unconscious, thrown down stairs - at Huntley's hand.

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Marital rape ruled illegal by law lords

Success story

"Wave of prosecutions will follow" front page of The Times,  24 Oct 1991

Five law lords unanimously swept away the 250-year old notion that women agree to sexual intercourse on marriage and cannot retract their consent . . .

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Two women win the first private prosecution for rape in England and Wales

Success story

"Rapist jailed after prostitutes bring private prosecution" reported in The Independent, 20 September 1995

Two women who brought the first private prosecution for rape and indecent assault after the Crown Prosecution Service dropped their cases saw their attacker jailed for 14 years yesterday.

Coming the week after a London family – in another private prosecution – succeeded in committing for trail two men accused of killing their son, the case again calls into question the CPS’s judgement and code of practice. . .

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