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.

 

 

 

No reprisals against women in detention who give evidence to parliamentarians of rape and sexual abuse in Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre.

Women tape their mouths to show women detainees were denied to testify
Women from the All African Women's Group, Women Against Rape and BWRAP after the hearing of the Home Affairs Committee on 24 June 2014 in London.

Women currently held in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre who want to give evidence to Members of Parliament from the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee about rape and sexual abuse by guards, have issued a set of demands to protect themselves from reprisals. Ms N commented: "It takes a lot of courage to complain about abuse knowing that your life is in the hands of the person you are accusing.”

MPs are due to visit Yarl’s Wood in the next couple of weeks to hear from women detained. The right to give evidence was won by women who attended a Committee meeting on 24 June and taped their mouths shut in the public galley to protest at being censored. Women were furious that the multi-nationals Serco and G4S who run Yarl’s Wood and other detention centres had been called to give evidence BEFORE the Committee had heard directly from victims of abuse. Report here

Women’s demands to protect themselves from reprisals include:
1. That MPs receive a delegation of women so that no one woman is identified with any particular account.
2. That no staff members are present when women speak to MPs,
3. That a representative from Black Women’s Rape Action Project and Women Against Rape, who support rape survivors in Yarl’s Wood are present to provide specialist assistance especially where women are traumatised.
4. That any report of the visit and women’s complaints is anonymised and that care is taken not to include details that would identify women.
5. That MPs act swiftly to press for the release of any women in Yarl’s Wood who is a victim of rape or sexual abuse.

Cristel Amiss, Black Women Rape Action Project, which with Women Against Rape (WAR) co-ordinated efforts to ensure that ex-detainees were able to attend the Committee, commented:

Serco is overseeing a regime of predatory sexual abuse where guards feel free to prey on vulnerable women. This was known about and condoned by every level of management. When women complained Serco instigated a systematic cover-up that included trying to discredit a female guard who said she believed one woman’s report of sexual abuse. Under those circumstances no woman will feel safe to speak without assurances that she will not suffer reprisals.

Women are available for interviews:
Contact Black Women's Rape Action Project & Women Against Rape
Crossroads Women's Centre. 25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX
T: 0207 428 2496 F: 020 7267 7297 http://www.womenagainstrape.net

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