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.

 

 

 

End the detention of rape survivors

URGENT ACTION: End the Detention of Familes

Dear friends,

Over 80 people attended the House of Commons meeting Women’s Hunger Strike – Louder than Words (29 June 2010) which succeeded in making public how women seeking asylum are spearheading the movement against the injustice of the asylum system (and other injustices), and in gathering support for these efforts. We will be publishing a report shortly.

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Public Meeting: Women’s Hunger Strike Louder Than Words

Event

Start and End Dates

Over 40 days • across races & languages • mothers defend families • many released • deportations halted.

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Yarl’s Wood Update: Releases, Returns, Reprisals, 9 June 2010

RELEASES: THIRTEEN FORMER HUNGER STRIKERS HAVE NOW BEEN RELEASED of the 25 or so we were in touch with on a daily basis.
All had spent months in detention and one woman had been there for a year and a half. Some had WON THEIR CASE but were being kept inside by a vindictive Home Office which was appealing the judgement. Women described feeling like forgotten people. One of the key demands of the hunger strike was for an end to indefinite detention.

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Protest Italian Embassy – STOP RAPE, DETENTION & DEPORTATION

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Start and End Dates

STOP RAPE, DETENTION AND DEPORTATIONS

On 8 June, a charge of attempted rape brought by Ms Joy N against chief of police inspector Vittorio Addesso of Milan CIE (Centre for Identification and Expulsion) Detention Centre in Italy, will be heard in court. People will be protesting outside the court

In August 2009, Mr Addesso tried to rape Ms Joy N, a young Nigerian woman, while she slept in the detention centre he runs. Her cellmate and three other women intervened and stopped the rape.

The director of the detention centre Massimo Chiodini, from the Red Cross (which runs many detention centres throughout Italy), witnessed the attempted rape but later in court denied seeing anything.

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PRESS RELEASE: Hunger striker released from Holloway

Following a third bail hearing on 26 April, Ms K won her long overdue release from Holloway prison.

Ms K participated in the recent six week hunger strike in Yarl's Wood Removal Centre. She was wrongly labelled a ring-leader by guards and on the fourth day, tricked into leaving the crowd of other women, snatched and ghosted to Holloway. She suffered racist abuse from guards and was told "You are from the jungle, you should go back."

Ms K then faced an onslaught of unfounded and shameful allegations from UKBA aimed at discrediting her and preventing her release. Her solicitor Toufique Hossain, Lawrence Lupin Solicitors and barrister Raza Halim, Garden Court Chambers had to work overtime to prove that these allegations were false.

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We must end the detention of families

In the Media

The Guardian, Tuesday 18 May 2010  Letters

"We will end the detention of children for immigration purposes," says the new coalition government (Asylum children will be kept out of 'distressing' detention centres, 14 May). But what about their mothers?

Paediatricians and psychologists have testified to the mental and physical harm caused to children by detention. But separating them from their mother or primary carer is even worse; it may cause "insecurity, depression and anxiety" which lasts throughout life.

The recent six-week hunger strike by women in Yarl's Wood removal centre brought to public attention that many women detained inside are mothers whose children were taken by social services or other family members. Some face deportation and permanent separation, often after years of raising a family in the UK.

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UPDATE 20 March 2010: YARL’S WOOD HUNGER STRIKE

Hunger strike suspended

On Friday 19 March, most of the women who have been refusing food, suspended their hunger strike in order to avoid permanent damage to their health. Women have vowed to resume the strike if the authorities don’t investigate their complaints about indefinite detention, appalling conditions and arbitrary removals - see women’s statement. A legal challenge had to be mounted by Leigh Day solicitors to force the Yarl’s Wood authorities to carry out “medical risk assessments to ascertain the specific risk of refeeding syndrome and follow Dept. of Health Guidelines on refeeding.” Medical Justice is pursuing this. No appropriate food has been provided and, last night, two women were sick.

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Letter in the Observer: "The sorrow in Yarl's Wood"

Letters

The Observer
Sunday 21 March 2010

The sorrow in Yarl's Wood

Your editorial ("We punish those we should protect") gave a rare accurate picture of the inhumane asylum process. It came just as mothers suspend their six-week hunger strike in Yarl's Wood removal centre. Women have vowed to resume the strike if the authorities don't investigate their complaints about indefinite detention, appalling conditions and arbitrary removals.

Callous disregard for women's lives has characterised the authorities' response so far. Three have attempted suicide by drinking bleach and other toxic substances, hanging themselves or by slitting their wrists.

After the latest suicide attempt, Serco, the private company which runs Yarl's Wood, said: "We have no concerns."

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