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.

 

 

 

Sexism still part of new rape law

The Times, Law, Tuesday July 13, 1999

The defence should not be able to question victims on their sexual history, say Ruth Hall and Lisa Longstaff
... We wrote to the unit this year as part of our campaign to end trawling through the victim's sexual history to discredit her, a key cause of police not recording a rape and the Crown Prosecution Service not prosecuting it . The unit said sexual history is sometimes relevant: "...a defendant might claim that he believed that the complainant was consenting because he had been told that she always kicked and screamed during sex. This would be relevant to his honest belief".
... Paul Boateng, Minister of State, said: "The defendant may know of specific instances of past behaviour, which led him to believe that the complainant was consenting to sex... The defendant's belief does not need to be reasonable..."..."We cannot rule out that a child's previous sexual behavior, which may be non-consensual, may be relevant to a defence case...(and) will have to be admitted." He also stated that the Bill should go as it is because the Government is reviewing sexual offences and the issue of consent elsewhere.
At the Bill's final reading last week no amendment on "belief" was tabled; the use of sexual history evidence has been reinforced; alleged "belief" that the woman consented will be used more often as a pretext for introducing sexual history that otherwise might be ruled irrelevant.

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