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.




Mum makes appeal after rape unit complaints

In the Media

Southwark News 25 June 2009 By Oliver Pugh

[Contact us if you made formal complaint about how rape was investigated by Southwark Sapphire Unit]

The mum of a fifteen-year-old rape victim at the centre of a ‘botched’ investigation by Southwark police has appealed for two new victims to come to her support group, after they made similar complaints to a police watchdog.

The two new complaints about Southwark’s Sapphire Unit were lodged in May and, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), they concerned alleged rapes in that month.

The mother of the teenager who was allegedly raped in 2005 and whose complaint led to a critical IPCC report in March, told the ‘News’: “It’s absolutely disgusting. Nothing changes. What’s the point of going through the complaints system if nothing changes as a result? It’s so distressing. I think people at the top should have been sacked. What are they going to do about it?”

Now working with Women Against Rape (WAR), the mother has asked the victims and their families to contact the group for support and guidance with their complaint against the Southwark Sapphire Unit.

In the damning report, the IPCC found that there were “significant errors” made by the Southwark unit during the investigation into the alleged rape of the teenager in 2005. Although someone was charged in connection with the serious sexual assault, he was acquitted after a trial. The report says that during the court case “it became clear that a number of errors had been made by the police”.

The report also criticised the manpower assigned to Southwark’s Sapphire Unit, as officers from an already under-resourced team were assigned to a robbery initiative. The decision left the remaining officers with increased workloads of around 30 sexual offences, including a number of rapes. A Detective Inspector at Sapphire stated in the IPCC report that: “The picture gained was that greater importance was given to motor vehicle crime than victims of serious sexual assault.”

Three officers were given written warnings and a fourth received ‘words of advice’.

If the women who complained would like to contact WAR, call 020 7482 2496.