Jail Rapists NOT Rape Victims
Tuesday 2 December 2014, 6-8pm
House of Commons, Committee Room 10, London SW1 Westminster Allow 20 minutes to pass through security.
Women who have been imprisoned or threatened with arrest after biased rape investigations, their families, Black Women’s Rape Action Project and Women Against Rape, are extending our campaign to stop the prosecution of rape survivors and clear the names of those who have been wrongly convicted.
Hosted by John McDonnell MP. Speakers include:
· Sandra Allen mother of Layla Ibrahim – imprisoned for three years after reporting an attack by two strangers. Leads were not followed up by police. Instead, the CPS relied on forensics to claim it was self-harm. She was heavily pregnant with her first child at the time of sentencing.
· Verna Joseph – imprisoned for nine years and threatened with deportation after being forced to carry drugs by a gang who raped her and threatened to kill her children.
· Hamish McKenna, partner of Rhiannon Brooker – imprisoned in June for three and a half years after reporting rape and domestic violence. Her 10-month-old baby was still breastfeeding at the time. WAR helped defeat the authorities’ appeal for an even longer sentence.
· Gail Sherwood – imprisoned for two years after the police decided to investigate her rather than the stranger who raped and stalked her. She left three children behind.
· Nigel Richardson – solicitor representing Layla Ibrahim and Rhiannon Brooker
· Prof Lisa Avalos (University of Arkansas) – is working with WAR on research comparing how these cases are prosecuted in the US and UK.
Followed by an open mic. Have your say. All welcome.
Reporting violence or defending yourself can land you in prison. This has been shown in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, and up and down the country. Children have been threatened with arrest and even prosecuted while their perpetrators were protected by police, politicians and social workers; family members who insisted on justice were also threatened and/or prosecuted. In the US Charmaine Pfender is serving life for killing her attempted rapist.
More than 90% of reported rape and domestic violence goes un-investigated and un-prosecuted. Over 50% of women in UK prisons have suffered domestic violence; 33% sexual violence. 70% of women in detention centres are survivors of rape and other torture. Mothers who report violence by a partner or ex-partner risk having their children taken away.
Lives are ruined and even lost – two women a week are murdered by partners or ex-partners, while others like Tracy Shelvey, Anne-Marie Ellement and Eleanor de Freitas were driven to suicide.
For the last seven years, we have been campaigning to end this terrifying misuse of the law. Our concerns are shared by many other groups and individuals who work with rape survivors – see petition.
Join us for the premier of NEW short film Jail Rapists not Rape Survivors by WAR and Will Francome!
Come and hear from formerly imprisoned survivors, their families and campaigners who are demanding justice.
· Quash the convictions of innocent rape survivors
· End the prosecution and detention of women and children who report rape or domestic violence
· Thorough rape and domestic violence investigations
· Protect victims of domestic violence and stop taking their children
· Police and prosecutors who target rape survivors rather than perpetrators must be brought to book.
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