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.

 

 

 

detention

Message of support for women on hunger strike in Yarl's Wood from John McDonnell MP

"That these women have been driven to make the only form of protest left available to them - to risk their own lives in the pursuit of justice and dignity - is a testament to the inhumanity and barbarism of immigration detention.

We urgently need an investigation into the alarming reports and allegations of mistreatment and clarification at all the women's well being.

Hidden away and out of sight thousands of migrants are being imprisoned and degraded - many of whom are victims of torture and abuse. This Government's appalling treatment of people who have simply moved from one country to another is a disgraceful mark of shame on UK's human rights record. The true measure of a civilised society is how it treats some of its most vulnerable members."

John McDonnell MP

 

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Women hunger strikers under threat of deportation

ACTION ALERT 21 February 2010

Over 22 women are still on hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood Removal Centre. Five are on suicide watch and one has been taken to health care after self-harming. At least eight women have been threatened with removal since the start of the hunger strike on 5 February. Four women were transferred to prison. Three women have managed to stop their removals and others are in the process of doing so with the help of supporters and lawyers. At least five women have been released. Some have been referred to lawyers because they suffered violence and racist abuse from guards or because their detention is illegal.

Women are demanding:

an independent investigation into reports that women were subjected to violence, mistreatment and racist abuse from guards, were “kettled” for over five hours in a hallway, denied access to toilets and water and locked out in the freezing cold;

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Women in Yarl's Wood vow to stay on hunger strike until they are released

We have spoken to over 50 women in the last few days and they all have a compelling case to be released: their continued detention is either inhumane or contravenes Home Office rules. Some have been referred to lawyers because their detention is illegal.[1]
 

STOP PRESS: we just heard that one woman has been released but three others faced removal. 50 still on hunger strike

Most women are:

SURVIVORS OF RAPE AND OTHER TORTURE[2] Operations Enforcement Manual rules say they should only be detained “under very exceptional circumstances.”

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URGENT Women on Hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood being beaten by guards

Black Women's Rape Action Project
8 February 2010

Over fifty women are currently trapped in an airless hallway in Yarl’s Immigration Removal Centre. On Friday 5 February they began a hunger strike. Today they were herded into the hallway were they have been left there for over two hours without access to water or toilets. Four women, including an asthma sufferer, have fainted.Around 1.30 the guards came into the hallway and started to beat women.

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We are dismissed because we are women, because we are Black and because we are asylum seekers

Jeto Flaviah
Mothers’ Campaign of the All African Women’s Group
Women speak out in Parliament against detention, deportation, privatisation and profiteering. 14 January 2010
Report of meeting and more speaches

Our campaign is a campaign of mothers who are claiming asylum in this country and who were forced to leave our children behind when we fled here. The problem we face is that mothers are not recognised as mothers when we don’t have our children with us.

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Women speak out in Parliament against detention, deportation, privatisation and profiteering 14 January 2010


audiencewideshot.JPGWith recent press coverage shedding light on the devastating impact of detention on children, and the public outrage that followed, it was no surprise that a meeting on the detention of mothers and other vulnerable people in the House of Commons 14 January, was packed with over 150 people squeezed into all corners of the room.

Organised by the All African Women’s Group (AAWG) and Black Women’s Rape Action Project (BWRAP) with the help of John McDonnell MP, the meeting heard from nine women recently released from Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre. They graphically described the conditions they suffered as well as the resistance they organised through hunger strikes, public protests and day-to-day direct action. They talked about acting together and not apart, to force a change.

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Support Messages for “Women’s uncensored experiences of detention and deportation”, 14 January 2010

Anthony Wilson, AW60 Trust
I'm very glad to hear from Heather that AW60 has been able to contribute to the parliamentary event on Thursday. Sorry not to be able to attend.

A simple but glaring political point: what is the PM doing apologising for sending children to Australia 60 years ago when he is responsible for detaining and deporting them now?

I hope that you will get a good hearing from MPs. Only a handful may actually turn up, but that is enough for powerful publicity - you have friendly journalists lined up?
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Ask asylum seekers what we need to survive and be safe

Selina Mofokeng
Women speak out in Parliament against detention, deportation, privatisation and profiteering. 14 January 2010
Report of meeting and more speaches

Selinareport.JPGMy name is Selina, I was detained twice in Yarl’s Wood, for 4 months while pregnant and again for 3 weeks when my baby was only 9 weeks old.

I was sick from the pregnancy and couldn’t make it to the dining room. Taking food into the rooms is not allowed, so sick women go for days without food. My friends would sneak some food to the room for me so I wouldn’t starve.

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Making millions out of suffering

Leyla04964.JPGLeyla Sami
Women speak out in Parliament against detention, deportation, privatisation and profiteering. 14 January 2010
Report of meeting and more speaches

My name is Leyla and I have been detained in Yarl’s Wood twice, once in 2007 when I first arrived in this country and was put on the fast track, and then again this year I was detained for almost six months.

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