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.

 

 

 

EMERGENCY DEMONSTRATION: Protest UK government’s hypocrisy: crying crocodile tears over war zone rape whilst deporting victims back to torture.

 9-11 am Tuesday 10 June 2014

“Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict”
ExCeL Centre, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL
Jubilee Line to Canning Town, take DLR towards Beckton, get off at Custom House.

The UK government is hosting an international three day conference “Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict”. Foreign minister William Hague claims it “is in our hands to treat victims not as social outcasts, but as courageous survivors”. But when “courageous” women escape rape in war zones and seek asylum and protection in the UK they face hostility, disbelief and being slandered as “bogus” and “scroungers”.

Ms Noela Claye, who will speak at the demo tomorrow, fled rape in the civil war in Sierra Leone. Stigma and discrimination stopped her initially telling her lawyer she had been raped. She was denied expert help and then interrogated in court and forced to recount all the details of rape in front of family members who had no idea what she had suffered. When she won her case, through her own determination, the Home Office appealed!

The government exploits rape survivors’ fears and vulnerabilities to railroad them through an unjust system focussed on sending victims back no matter what they have suffered. BWRAP and WAR know personally of several women who have been raped on return.

Just as women reporting rape in the UK face an uphill battle to be believed by the authorities1, 88% of UK Border Agency (UKBA) decisions disbelieve victims’ experiences. Stigma and trauma prevented 20% of women from speaking about rape before UKBA considered their case2. Those reporting rape late were routinely disbelieved flouting UKBA’s “Gender Issues in the Asylum Claim” guidance.

Legal aid cuts have made the situation worse, denying victims access to representation and expert evidence to corroborate their experience.

Worse still, many rape victims are locked up in UK detention centres in conditions reminiscent of those they fled. 70% of women in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) are rape survivors often from war and conflict zones3. Some have bravely spoken out about sexual assault by guards.

Protest outside Yarl’s Wood IRC, 4.30-6.30 pm, Sunday 15 June, International Day to Close Detention Centres.

1. Only 6.7% of reported rape ends in a conviction
2. Misjudging Rape, Breaching Gender Guidelines & International Law in Asylum Appeals, BWRAP & WAR, Crossroads Books 2006
3. A “Bleak House” in Our Times, An investigation into women’s rights violations at Yarl’s Wood Removal Centre, Legal Action for Women, in collaboration with Black Women’s Rape Action Project (BWRAP) & Women Against Rape (WAR), Crossroads Books, 2006

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