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.

 

 

 

Government backs down on anonymity

In the Media

We are glad the government has been forced to back down on the proposal to give anonymity to men accused of rape. Since the day it was announced we publicly opposed the proposal, and the fury of women all over the country has snowballed, including among many journalists and MPs.

Why should men accused of rape have special protection not offered to those facing charges of murder, terrorism or child abuse? People are no more likely to be falsely accused of rape than of other crimes. Why this attempt to further discredit and discriminate against rape survivors?

The proposal to give the accused anonymity was already putting more rape survivors off reporting.

There is widespread awareness that it is extremely hard for women to report rape, and 80 - 90% never do. Those who report often say it was to protect others. But many are disbelieved or dismissed by police and prosecutors, and even urged to withdraw – no wonder the conviction rate for reported rape remains 6.5%.

Any woman whose rapist was not pursued or convicted can be accused of making a false allegation and prosecuted, especially if she has reported rape before. Such prosecutions of women, seized on by the media, have created the illusion that false allegations are widespread, reinforcing already inflated estimates. How many of the women in jail for a so called false allegation are victims of a miscarriage of justice which no government has so far acknowledged, let alone addressed?

We are in touch with a number, including Gail Sherwood who is serving two years, and Leyla Ibrahim sentenced to three years last week.
 

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