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.

 

 

 

Miscarriages of justice in rape cases

In the Media

Guardian Letters, 29 Nov 2010

The prosecution of "Sarah", jailed for making a "false retraction" after years of maritalrape and abuse, screams injustice (She accused her husband of rape – and ended up in jail, 27 November). Why was she prosecuted? Why wasn't her sentence quashed? And why can't her rapist husband, who kept the children and the flat, be prosecuted now before he reoffends?

You report that at least 30 women are in "similar positions". We are involved with several women accused of false allegations of rape, and each suffered a miscarriage of justice: evidence not gathered or lost, and a traumatised woman accused of wasting police time, put in the dock and sentenced to two or three years.
Criminal justice is harsher on women: 94% of women's convictions are for minor offences, compared to 76% of men's, yet the number of women in prison has gone up by 68% compared to 35% for men. The state which wouldn't acknowledge rape in marriage as a crime until 1991, after WAR's 15-year campaign, is still punishing women for daring to make a fuss.

Barely formed, the coalition proposed anonymity for men accused of rape, implying that women are liars. It backed down after a massive outcry, including from women MPs across parties.
Shortly after becoming director of private prosecutions, Keir Starmer assured us that he was determined to improve rape prosecutions. Two years down the line, police and CPS still seem intent on prosecuting victims – a sure way to further discourage women from reporting crimes.
Lisa Longstaff
Women Against Rape
 

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