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.

 

 

 

Judge Kushner comments on drink putting women at risk

Megan Clark, 19, was raped by a man when she was drunk after a night out in Manchester. He was filmed by a passer-by and the police were called. He got 6 years.

The trial judge Lindsey Kushner said women are entitled to drink themselves into the ground but their disinhibited behaviour could result in putting themselves in danger.

Megan Clark waived her anonymity on the Victoria Derbyshire Show to say she welcomed the judge’s comments and she was not blaming victims.

A lot of women who are attacked after drinking do not report it. Predatory men target anyone who is weak, including those less likely to report it or to remember clearly what happened.

It has taken the anti-rape movement 40 years of campaigning to establish that rape is a serious crime, and to insist that all survivors are entitled to the protection of the law, so the police have a responsibility to investigate properly. Since 2003 the law recognises that drunk people may not have the capacity to consent to sex. But as Megan Clark acknowledged in the interview very few rapes end in conviction.

There are many people and circumstances which can make us particularly vulnerable to sexual violence, beginning with children who are the most vulnerable. Among adults some of us are more vulnerable, such as women who are homeless, have insecure immigration status, sex workers, wives, people with disabilities and older women, women with less money who may walk or take a bus and can’t afford a car or taxi… Are they all putting themselves in danger?

The unbalanced focus on drinking has been to hide these other vulnerabilities, and for a judge to put out a warning to women feeds into the tradition of blaming women for rape - that ought to be clearly blamed on the rapist. It is annoying when people in authority put advice out that women can make themselves safe by being careful.

Read more at BBC news website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39367339

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