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.

 

 

 

Good news and appeal

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce that on Tuesday we helped a woman in our network win £10,200 compensation. She had suffered a particularly prolonged and horrific rape but had been denied any award because she was a heroin user at the time she was raped. We represented her at a compensation appeal hearing and are delighted she has finally won some justice.

This follows a very busy period. Following the scandalous Worboys, Reid and Southwark cases this summer, we met with the Director of Public Prosecutions (head of the CPS) and senior officers setting up the new London-wide police teams that have taken over from Sapphire. We told them what changes were needed to improve investigations and prosecutions, and two survivors in our group illustrated the problems by describing their own recent experiences. All were interested and respectful, but we wait to see if there is real change in practice.

So far, shocking revelations about police forces deprioritising rape continue. You may have seen that WAR has been in the media a lot this week, asked to comment on two big stories.

First came the BBC’s exposure that thousands of rapes have gone missing from police figures. You can:

- watch a video of Lisa Longstaff interviewed about this on BBC News Channel on Monday 21 Sept

- read the personal story of one of the women in our group entitled Rape case was 'chaos' says victim
And on Tuesday 22 Sept came news of the government’s Rape Review. They have asked Baroness Vivien Stern to look at problems with how reported rape is investigated and prosecuted. We have a lot of respect for Baroness Stern, but we are not confident that this Review will bring about the changes that are needed. What is needed is action holding police, prosecutors and judges accountable, not more research.

You can hear Sally, a mother and active campaigner in WAR, and her daughter Rebecca, on Radio 5 Live with Baroness Stern (starts 1:38:00 (11:38am), ends 1:58:00 (around 12 noon). Baroness Stern says on air that she intends to meet in the next few weeks with WAR as part of her Review, and we intend to share our experiences and views with her. We were also quoted by the Guardian and the Independent.

As a result of this publicity, we got an influx of calls and emails from around the country from women fighting similar injustices, who all need urgent help. Yet as you may know, WAR has no core funding, and is very dependent on volunteers, fundraising and donations in order to continue to provide support and services to survivors. We really appreciate all your generous support, thoughtfulness and goodwill.

Special thanks to Claire Riley and Mary Abbott who recently raised around £200 in sponsorships for a 120 foot abseil down the side of the Romford YMCA building. Claire said: “Women Against Rape is an organisation I have known for many years. I wanted to choose an organisation that has limited funding and helps provide a lifeline to women that have suffered from Rape or Domestic abuse.”

Also thanks to Jenny Betteridge who is organising a pub quiz next month, and Voices who are holding a music benefit on 5 December. The pub quiz, part of a very popular series, will be at the Old Explorer pub in Oxford Circus, London, 7 pm on Wednesday 21 October. It’s £5 entry – we hope to see London supporters there!

Please donate here if you can, or contact us to discuss any fundraising ideas you have.

Yours against rape, Ruth Hall

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