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

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

Event

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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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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URGENT: WOMEN SUSPEND HUNGER STRIKE in YARL'S WOOD

We have just received the email below announcing the suspension of the hunger strike by women in Yarl's Wood pending a response from UKBA and SERCO to their legitimate demands. Several women have reported being very ill as a result of over five weeks without food. Nevertheless they are determined to press for justice.

Please circulate widely and support the demands of women who have so bravely challenged the authorities and exposed the injustice of detaining children, mothers and other vulnerable women, the appalling conditions in detention including racist abuse and other violence, the brutal response to their peaceful protest and the inhumanity of sending women back to possible persecution, rape and other torture.
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UPDATE: Women on hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood, Tuesday 9 March

STOP PRESS: Twelve women released from Yarl’s Wood yesterday!!! We’ll have more news by the end of the day.

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Recent press:

Big Issue Scotland
BBC: "MP demands Yarl's Wood hunger strike inquiry"

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Action for Women in 3rd week of hunger strike @ Yarl's Wood IRC

Women have now been on hunger strike for three weeks in Yarl’s Wood Removal Centre and continue to need your support. We enclose an update below. Please take action:

1. Ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 919 “Hunger Strike at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre” (see below). You might want to send them the update so they are armed against Home Office propaganda.

2. Write to ministers demanding: that mothers, victims of rape and other torture and all vulnerable women be immediately released; an independent investigation into the treatment of hunger strikers; a moratorium on all removals and deportations.

· Phil Woolas MP, the Minister of State for Borders and Immigration woolasp@parliament.uk or http://www.philwoolasmp.org/emailPhil.html

· Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, Home Secretary johnsona@parliament.uk or public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

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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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