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 victims' compensation cut because of past offences such as using MOBILE PHONE while driving

In the Media

“Lisa Longstaff, spokeswoman for Women Against Rape, said: “This system penalises the poorest victims when it should be helping them.”
[See longer quote highlighted below]

Daily Mirror , 15 February 2015, By Tom Pettifor

Two victims each had £2,200 cut from payouts for injuries suffered during horrific sex attacks as they had convictions for TV licence evasion and theft

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Cheap and nasty: 29 sex crime victims had compo reduced by a total of £75,000 over the last two years

Rape victims have had their compensation slashed because they have criminal records for minor offences, including TV licence fee evasion.

Two victims each had £2,200 cut from payouts for injuries suffered during horrific sex attacks – as they both had a conviction for non-payment of the TV licence and theft.

Another victim lost out on £1,100 because they had been caught using a mobile phone while driving.

Figures obtained by the Mirror reveal they are among 29 rape victims who had compensation reduced by a total of £75,000 over the last two years due to their own criminal records.

One had their award slashed by £3,300 for anti-social behaviour, while six victims had compensation worth £15,500 withheld over drink-driving convictions – including one deduction of £4,950.

Two more reductions were for drugs offences and others were for being drunk and disorderly and breach of the peace.
Crime victims with convictions are penalised by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority on the grounds that their character makes it “inappropriate that a full award or any award should be made”.

Compensation cuts for rape victims
£2,200 For non payment of TV licence fee
£1,100 Over being caught using a phone while driving
£4,950 For a previous drink drive conviction

But campaigners have slammed the penalty, saying drug and alcohol problems are often symptoms of sexual exploitation.
Lisa Longstaff, spokeswoman for Women Against Rape, said: “This system penalises the poorest victims when it should be helping them.

“Compensation is often the only official acknowledgement you get, given the appalling conviction rate for rape. It can help with security, healthcare or whatever else victims need to feel safer and recover.

“There should be no reduction in payments because someone has a conviction before or since the rape.”

She told how a sex worker she represented was informed by CICA the effects of rape at knifepoint were different for prostitutes, and had her award reduced by a third.

Another woman was denied a payout because of a conviction for driving without insurance.

Ms Longstaff added vulnerable people, including those from children’s homes “who have no parents to protect them who are more vulnerable to sex attackers”, were “more likely to have convictions or get them in later life due to the trauma of being raped”.

The minimum award for rape victims is around £11,000. People who suffer multiple injuries receive more.

And those infected with HIV or Aids as the result of a sex crime can receive a £22,000 payout.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “Rape is an appalling crime and the Government is doing everything possible to encourage victims to come forward and punish those responsible.

“The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme awards taxpayer-funded payments to victims who are seriously injured as a result of violent crime.”

But he added: “It has always been the case that under the scheme applicants with unspent convictions can be given a reduced payment.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/rape-victims-compensation-cut-becau...

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