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.

 

 

 

India and UK: criminal justice systems give green light to violence against women

From Nawa Chhattisgarh Mahila Samiti (Chhattisgarh Women’s Organisation), Chhattisgarh State, India, 4 June 2014

We are an organisation of Dalit and Adivasi women. We condemn the rapes and murders of the two young Dalit girls in Uttar Pradesh. They have not arrested all the people responsible. The government has to give justice to the girls and their families. Many women's organisations in India are protesting and demanding justice. Left political parties are supporting this case as well as Mayawati, a Dalit woman leader from the Uttar Pradesh parliament. In Chhattisgarh girls and women are also raped. We help Dalit and Tribal women report rape and demand the police take statements, gather evidence and bring a prosecution of the rapist.

*NCMS is an anti-racist organisation of Adivasi (Tribal) and Dalit women campaigning against bonded labour; rape, low and unequal pay and other discrimination. It brings together people from these two communities who are divided by landowners and other employers. NCMS is part of the Global Women's Strike network.

From Black Women’s Rape Action Project and Women Against Rape

On 28 May 2014, two teenage girls were brutally gang raped and lynched by higher class landowners in Uttar Pradesh, India. Hundreds of villagers, including many women and girls, protested by sitting in under the tree where the bodies hung. They refused to move until the authorities arrested the suspects. The local chief of police had ignored the father’s report of the girls’ abduction for over twelve hours. Had police acted sooner, the girls might still be alive. The village protesters' determination to get justice resulted in the police finally arresting three of the suspects and two police officers for shielding the perpetrators. The search continues for the other men suspected of being involved. The London protest has been called to show international support for the victims’ families and their communities.

These protests and last year's mass protests all over India against the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey, and the international support for them, show how determined women are to end rape, and how we face similar violence and similar sexism by the authorities, wherever we are.

For years our sisters in India have been organizing against rape and murder in the family but also by landlords, police and the military. But Dalit and Tribal women’s struggles have not been given prominence and support by the media or by most middle and upper class women in India or in the UK.

In our experience of dealing with rape and domestic violence here in the UK, the police are also the main obstacle to rape survivors getting justice. Only 6.7% of rapes in the UK end in conviction; even less when the rape is by a partner or ex-partner. We see daily cases dropped, as police have not gathered the evidence properly or the Crown Prosecution Service has decided it is not good enough to take to court. This is especially true for children, women of colour, women with disabilities, women who have been raped before and working class women generally.

That's why abusers and rapists like Savile and those in Rochdale and Oxford, children homes in North Wales, Jersey and elsewhere, were allowed to go on for so long without being prosecuted, despite having been reported to the police and social services a number of times – vulnerable women and girls were treated as ‘plebs’ who exist to be available to sexual predators.

Vulnerable women in Yarl's Wood Immigration Detention Centre have recently spoken out about racist sexual assault and other discriminatory treatment by Serco guards. Compelling accounts are now being investigated. The police and government must answer for their complicity in failing to investigate complaints and deporting women despite ongoing inquiries.

We are even having to campaign with rape survivors imprisoned for reporting rape – Gail Sherwood and Layla Ibrahim were sentenced to two and three years in prison after being raped by strangers.

Many cases of police rape have also come to light in the UK. We know these are only the tip of the iceberg.
Comments from Arundhati Roy (see over) focus on rape committed by police, army and others in authority, against women who have least. That these rapes are not prosecuted gives all violent men the go ahead – they know the authorities are on the side of the rapist and women are undefended.

In demanding justice in India, we demand justice for all beginning with grassroots women everywhere, from India to the UK.

www.womenagainstrape.net Tel: 020 7482 2496
bwrap@rapeaction.net war@womenagainstrape.net

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