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.

 

 

 

Asylum from Rape Petition- sign online - circulate the link

Please sign online and spread the word about the petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/afrsep08/petition.html

Women and children are 80% of refugees and displaced people worldwide. International courts have recognized that rape is routinely used as a weapon of war and an estimated 50% of women seeking asylum in the UK are rape survivors. But the specific persecution women face is not recognised by the UN Convention on Refugees which defines who is entitled to protection. Each woman is forced to battle against institutional sexism, and institutional racism if she is a woman of colour, to show how her case relates to the Convention.

Gender Guidelines provided to Home Office officials and Immigration Judges in the UK acknowledge how difficult it may be for women to speak about rape, and give practical guidance about how to ensure women have a fair hearing. But there is no statutory obligation to implement the Guidelines and rape survivors seeking asylum are treated with disbelief and even hostility. Even case law and international precedents are rarely referred to and frequently flouted. And while victims of torture are considered “vulnerable” people who should not be detained, many are, including rape survivors.

Even when women are believed, rape is dismissed as “simple lust”, “random acts” by “unruly officers”, or women are told it is safe to live somewhere else in the country they fled – with no means of survival, except begging or prostitution. Women are denied legal representation and other support. As a result, many have their cases closed and
have to fight for years to get justice. Trafficked women who escaped forced prostitution or other bonded labour, mothers of children conceived as a result of rape, under-age girls and other rape survivors are left destitute and detained. Most are ultimately removed.

WE DEMAND THE OFFICIAL RECOGNITION OF RAPE AS TORTURE AND PERSECUTION

What people have said about the petition:

"What type of society are we hoping to leave our children if such crime as rape committed against their mothers in a war situation is not recognised prima facie as grounds for asylum when victims flee from such horrendous experience? What type of torture or persecution can be possibly worse than rape? It’s a scar on the conscience of the world that we are asking for this basic protection in the 21st century." Kennedy Emetulu

"I am a legal aid lawyer for asylum seekers and wholeheartedly agree that the adverse credibility findings against women's rape testimonies are disgusting, disturbing and fundamentally undermine the Refugee Convention." Nicki Kindersley

"Another absolute and depressing example of the denial of women’s rights and of the inhumane and man made barriers facing women who have already had to survive enough through their experiences of rape, when are we going to really understand and make real human rights for everyone? It needs to be now." Isabel Turnbull UK

"It's time that the UK government owns up to its responsibility for the proxy wars in countries like Africa, which cause the rape, maiming and killing of millions of women, children and men. Rape must become ground for asylum." Giorgio Giandomenici

"Refusing rape is not a crime!" Payday men's network

"True - rape is TORTURE" Birita Mogeni, Kenya

"Elie Wiesel 'Never be silent whenever wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.' National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

"We wholeheartedly support this petition." UK Association of Gypsy Women

"Until women and attacks on women are taken seriously here, this country has no right to consider itself civilised. These measures are long overdue." Sue Peters

"No one can understand the horrors of rape unless they've been subjected to it. You must recognize that it is torture, and as a form of torture, must be dealt with accordingly. Thank you." Jillian Greenriver The United States of America

"This is such a pressing issue, I urge you move swiftly and save thousands of women from this unimaginable torture." Aileen Quinn, Britain

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