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.





Demand Margaret Nambi is granted refugee status!


Margaret Nambi has been released!
Now write to the Home Office demanding that she be given refugee status and allowed to stay in the UK!

On Tuesday 9 October, Margaret Nambi was detained in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre despite having just made a fresh claim for asylum which includes an account of how she was gang raped by soldiers in Uganda and forced to flee to the UK. This information is new; Ms Nambi was too terrified and embarrassed to speak about being raped when she was first questioned by male immigration officials – a very common experience[1]. Her account is corroborated by specialist expert reports. Ms Nambi is also a victim of trafficking. On arrival in the UK the woman who helped her escape forced her into domestic servitude and organised for her to be raped by many men over a period of years, profiting from it.


From Yarl’s Wood to freedom via the Crossroads Centre

In the Media

3550866940.jpgA woman from Rwanda has been re-united with her family, ten years after she fled the country, with the help of the Crossroads Centre.

Last October, Titti Flavia saw her children for the first time in 10 years. She had lost contact with them after fleeing her home in Rwanda, where soldiers had attacked her family and taken and killed her husband, who was active in the opposition. Flavia escaped to the UK and hoped that she would find her children and be reunited once she was safe.


Report: Women's Hunger Strike - Louder than Words


When 70 women went on hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood IRC on 5 February, an unprecedented level of media coverage followed. Rape survivors, mothers separated from their children, and other vulnerable women, some of whom had been detained without trial for months (one for over a year), spoke publicly to complain about the conditions they suffered, why they were driven to protest, and how they resisted official attempts to deny and subvert their action.

On 29 June, a packed meeting in the House of Commons hosted by John McDonnell MP, and chaired by Stella Mpaka, All African Women’s Group (AAWG) and Cristel Amiss, Black Women’s Rape Action Project (BWRAP) brought together: women central to the hunger strike, legal and medical professionals, family members of women still detained and a wide range of other organisations and individuals.


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.


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.




Start and End Dates


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.



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.


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


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."



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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