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.

 

 

 

Fighting for compensation

Compensation (character & conduct campaign)

If you have suffered rape or assault, like any other victim of crime, it is your right to apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) for compensation for your injuries and to help with your recovery. Throughout the legal process our sexual and medical histories are often used to humiliate, demean and dismiss us. Our 'character and conduct' can similarly be used to deny us compensation by the CICA, thus discriminating against rape survivors who may have unrelated convictions for prostitution, shop-lifting or possession of cannabis. We have had to challenge the CICA for refusing or reducing awards on these grounds, and we are pressing for their discretion to make such judgements to be curtailed.

If you have been denied compensation and/or want to support this campaign, contact us.

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High court rules in favour of rape victim who retracted accusation under duress

In the Media

Woman known as Sarah has compensation increased after she made allegation against husband before changing her mind, under pressure from him

The judge said the victim has been punished unfairly for claims of not cooperating with police. 

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High court rules in favour of rape victim who retracted accusation under duress

In the Media

Woman known as Sarah has compensation increased after she made allegation against husband before changing her mind, under pressure from him

The judge said the victim has been punished unfairly for claims of not cooperating with police. 

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Jailed for false retraction, rape victim to challenge reduced compensation

In the Media

Accused of perverting course of justice, woman to appeal against 70% cut in compensation for her ordeal
Lord Judge, the lord chief justice, released the woman from jail in 2010 in a case that altered the way lawyers treat victims who retract rape claims. Photograph: Ian Nicholson/PA
Helen Pidd  The Guardian  Monday 30 May 201612.58 BSTLast modified on Monday 30 May 201613.23 BST

A woman who was jailed for falsely retracting a true allegation of rape is to challenge the compensation awarded to her by a court.
The woman, known by the pseudonym Sarah, was sentenced to eight months in 2010 for perverting the course of justice, but she was released on appeal after serving two weeks.

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Jailed for false retraction, rape victim to challenge reduced compensation

In the Media

Accused of perverting course of justice, woman to appeal against 70% cut in compensation for her ordeal
Lord Judge, the lord chief justice, released the woman from jail in 2010 in a case that altered the way lawyers treat victims who retract rape claims. Photograph: Ian Nicholson/PA
Helen Pidd  The Guardian  Monday 30 May 201612.58 BSTLast modified on Monday 30 May 201613.23 BST

A woman who was jailed for falsely retracting a true allegation of rape is to challenge the compensation awarded to her by a court.
The woman, known by the pseudonym Sarah, was sentenced to eight months in 2010 for perverting the course of justice, but she was released on appeal after serving two weeks.

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Rape victims with petty convictions denied compensation

In the Media

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority routinely refuses to make awards to women who have committed minor offences

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Getting convicted for shoplifting could result in reduced compensation awards for rape. Photograph: Alamy

Frankie Mullin
Tuesday 17 March 2015 14.09 GMTLast modified on Tuesday 17 March 201514.44 GMT

Pauline Doyle was gang-raped as a teenager. After the attack, life slipped increasingly from her control. She was failed by numerous agencies and, for 19 years, was addicted to heroin and crack, supporting her habit in any way she could.

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Rape victims' compensation cut because of past offences such as using MOBILE PHONE while driving

In the Media

“Lisa Longstaff, spokeswoman for Women Against Rape, said: “This system penalises the poorest victims when it should be helping them.”
[See longer quote highlighted below]

Daily Mirror , 15 February 2015, By Tom Pettifor

Two victims each had £2,200 cut from payouts for injuries suffered during horrific sex attacks as they had convictions for TV licence evasion and theft

a-woman-holding-her-head.jpg 
Cheap and nasty: 29 sex crime victims had compo reduced by a total of £75,000 over the last two years

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A gay man describes how he won compensation for rape

Success story

I am a gay man from the Netherlands. During a visit to London as a tourist the summer of 2009 my drink was spiked, I was robbed and sexually assaulted by a member of gang targeting gay men. I would like to share my experience appealing against the decisions of the CICA because this may be of use to victims of drug-rape.

I decided to apply for compensation two month after the incident when I realised the police investigation was not going any further. It was the only thing left for me to do.

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Press release - 27 November: In the wake of Savile, Rochdale and North Wales government cuts victims’ compensation

On 27 November criminal injuries compensation is to be cut, despite overwhelming all-Party opposition in Parliament in September. In the same week as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November), victims of rape and other violence are to be deprived of money which can help with security and recovery.

The government Consultation paper ‘Getting it right for victims CPS/2012’ argues that cuts will not affect victims of rape or other serious violent crimes. This is a lie. (See our response below on this webpage.)

They are reducing the awards to spouses and children of murder victims – and two women a week are murdered by their partner or ex-partner.

They are cutting all compensation for minor injuries and reducing other payments – affecting victims of sexual assault and child abuse.

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Response from Women Against Rape to Ministry of Justice Consultation Paper CPS/2012 ‘Getting it right for victims and witnesses’

We strongly oppose several of the principles for reform laid out in the Introduction to ‘Getting it right for victims and witnesses’. Cutting the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme flies in the face of justice and undermines all victims of crime. Compensation is very important for victims as it can be the only official acknowledgement they will get, especially if their attacker has not been charged or convicted – the experience of the overwhelming majority of victims of rape. Only 6.5% of rapes reach conviction. The money can pay for healthcare, including ‘alternative’ treatments, therapy, or additional security to make them safer.

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