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.

 

 

 

Rape cover-up? It is history, says Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

JUSTIN DAVENPORT, CRIME EDITOR
Published: 28 February 2013

Scotland Yard chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has apologised to victims of rapes who were pressured by police into withdrawing their allegations so officers could meet performance targets.

However, the Met Commissioner faced attack after he attempted to deflect criticism over the issue by saying the cases — which took place in 2008 and 2009 — were “relatively historic”.

His comments came after the Independent Police Complaints Commission severely criticised the force’s Southwark Sapphire specialist sex crimes unit for adopting an approach of “failing to believe” victims.

Speaking for the first time on the controversy, Sir Bernard said: “First of all we are sorry that happened. This was a terrible outcome in this case. This happened in 2008/9 and it is relatively historic now.

“We have put things in place that we think have improved things.

“Can we guarantee things? Of course we cannot, but I think the IPCC acknowledge that things have improved.”

Commenting to Channel 4 News, he said police today were less interested in detection rates which he said could lead to the “wrong behaviour by police”. He also admitted that the Met’s decision to promote two officers involved in the unit would “cause the public to wonder what our standards are. It is an unfortunate symbol”.

But his remarks that the cases were historic were condemned by the rape crisis charity Women Against Rape. Spokeswoman Lisa Longstaff said: “I think that when arrogant comments like that are being made it is like being raped all over again.

“Every time the police say these problems are in the past it is a perversion of the truth.

“There have been nine IPCC reports about Sapphire and every time they say things have been done but it is the junior officers who are disciplined and senior officers, who are responsible, are let off.”

Twitter users also criticised the Met chief’s comments as “aggressive and complacent” and “arrogant”.

The IPCC report found that detectives from the Southwark sex crime unit had persuaded women victims to say the attacks they endured were “consensual sex”.

In one case, a detective sergeant pressured a woman to drop a rape claim against retired security guard Jean Say, 63, who then went on to murder his two children in their beds with a carving knife. 

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