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.

 

 

 

Winning compensation

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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Compensation: WAR believed in me and I believed in them

Success story

Ex drug user wins compensation for rape -
 

I came across the WAR website by chance after failing to obtain justice through the Courts and compensation. I found myself fighting for a criminal injuries award I knew would help me rebuild my shattered life. The psychological effects of my unresolved rape case were devastating and spread outwards affecting every aspect of my life. I became reclusive, unable to trust anyone, let alone have relationships. I suffered at work without realising the real cause.

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When I won compensation I felt 10 tons lighter

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When I won compensation for the rape I suffered I felt 10 tons lighter. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help. I can’t bear witnessing the injustice out there without at least trying to make a difference.

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After my rapist was acquitted

Success story

After my rapist was acquitted, I became reclusive, unable to trust anyone, let alone have relationships. I contacted WAR and I became filled with trust after the first 'phone call. I was allocated a delightful lady for support, who had suffered as I had. She won compensation and she helped me win as well. I could not have achieved this on my own as I was given first class guidance and advice and first class support. She even accompanied me to the appeal hearing. Their combined strength; their belief in me and my case, helped me win £11,000, overturning a decision made 6 years before. WAR helped me back on my feet and helped in my healing as well. Many thanks and Godbless you all for fighting for justice in an unjust world.

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Two women raped at knifepoint win £5,000, but Appeal Panel member says rape is not the same for prostitutes

Success story

In 1995 two women won the first private prosecution for rape, assisted by the English Collective of Prostitutes, Legal Action for Women and WAR. They were raped by the same client on different occasions. He got 14 years in prison, reduced to 11 on appeal. In court the defence accused them of inventing the rape in order to claim compensation (a common tactic, sometimes thrown even at women who never apply for compensation). They had intitially been refused compensation for delay in reporting and non-cooperation with the police, but when the man was convicted, the CICA heard an appeal. They went before a Panel of three male QCs, represented by WAR. Although the Panel had already decided to grant an award they commented that there was a question as to whether prostitutes were entitled to the same amount as other women.

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Prostitute woman intitially denied compensation wins £4,000 -- 50% reduction for drug convictions

Success story

Ms G was raped and robbed in 1994 while working as a prostitute. She reported it despite the fact that she had convictions related to prostitution and the rapist was sentenced to four years for rape and four years for robbery to run concurrently. In 1995 the CICB turned down an application for compensation in spite of recognising that her convictions "have nothing whatsoever to do with the incident which gives rise to the application" and that "notwithstanding her way of life, she is entitled to say no and no one is entitled to assault her as she was assaulted on this occasion". Her lawyer organised legal aid to cover WAR’s report for the CICA. Ms G organised a housing association worker as a witness. Her story was featured in The Guardian.

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Prostitute woman with no convictions suffers 25% reduction for rape because of "unlawful conduct"

Success story

In 1996 Ms P was working as a prostitute when she was repeatedly raped, assaulted and robbed by a client. She reported this to the police immediately. Her attacker was convicted. The CICA refused compensation because "in this case, it is considered that evidence of your unlawful conduct makes it inappropriate that you should receive any award from public funds".

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What further evidence do they need?

Success story

A London woman was initially denied compensation for rape by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.  They said there was not enough evidence -- even though she had a recording of what had happened!  

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Compensation Authority challenged for backing man who raped family friend who was asleep

Success story

Mrs Y was raped whilst sleeping having drunk substantial amounts of alcohol. The accused – a friend of a friend - was acquitted in court. Compensation was initially refused on the grounds that "no crime of violence" had taken place. The compensation Board wrote that "the reactions of Mrs Y were not, as she acknowledges,  demonstrably unwelcoming for some time, albeit measured in minutes. She had given him "no signal of absence of consent" (until she woke up fully and threw him off the bed). WAR wrote to the CICA and represented her at appeal, arguing that it goes against the principle of rape law that the absence of a "signal" meant he could take advantage of her while she was asleep.

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£156,000 Victory after woman's fall from window ledge wrongly classed as accident, not violence

Success story

In 1992 Ms Q climbed through a window to escape two male acquaintances who after drinking alcohol together had locked her in a room and threatened her with rape. She lost her balance and fell three stories to the ground below. She suffered a broken back, smashed heel, leg injuries, and was unable to care for herself. The police had taken a statement from her within days of the injury, in her hospital bed when she was just out of intensive care and still heavily sedated. She had been unable to report to the male police officer that she had fallen while trying to get away from imminent rape, and that she had a history of child abuse which made her panic before she fell. The men were never prosecuted.

 

In 1994 her application for compensation was refused after the CICB ruled there had been "no crime of violence". Ms Q appealed, submitting WAR’s expert report.

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