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.

 

 

 

Rhiannon Brooker – WAR welcomes Appeal Court refusal to increase sentence.

In the Media

Rhiannon Brooker was sentenced in June to 3½ years in prison after reporting rape and domestic violence. She was separated from her 10-month-old baby who was still breast-feeding and is now traumatised.

Rhiannon was disbelieved and prosecuted for perverting the course of justice with more vigour and resources than we ever see used against our violent attackers. Like many other women who end up in jail, she is also a survivor of childhood rape.

On 25 September 2014, the Court of Appeal heard a biased and malicious application from the CPS and the Attorney General for an even longer sentence and rejected it. They rightly took into account the damage caused by imprisonment to mother and child.

This case has implications for all rape survivors – who are routinely disbelieved by the police as shown by the scandalous cases in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, Savile, Warboys, etc. Had Ms Brooker’s sentence been increased, women and children who have been attacked would have been even more terrified of spending many years in jail if they reported.

There is widespread concern on this issue. Groups and professionals who work with survivors are alarmed at the drive to prosecute women. The following petition has been signed by over forty organisations and professionals who work with victims of rape and domestic violence – they include the Women's Aid Federation of England and other women’s organisations, rape crisis centres, Diane Abbott MP and Shelia Gilmore MP, Independent Sexual Violence Advocates, doctors, lawyers and academics. For full list see website.

Petition: We the undersigned are very concerned that women and children who report rape and/or domestic violence (DV) may be pressurised to withdraw or retract their allegations, and that some are even prosecuted and imprisoned. The fear of being disbelieved discourages survivors from coming forward. Given that one in three women has suffered domestic and/or sexual violence, that 90% of rapes and DV are never reported, that only 6.7% of reported rapes and 5% of DV lead to a conviction, and that two women a week are killed by partners or ex-partners, to discourage survivors from reporting and punish some survivors who do report, endangers lives and is not in the public interest.

The Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry has also questioned this appeal.

It is high time that judges stopped blaming women accused of false allegations for the low conviction rate for rape, when biased and negligent investigations and prosecutions are the real cause.

US research found that women who had been prosecuted for lying were later vindicated when their actual rapist was found and convicted. We are working on several miscarriages of justice in the UK.

The prosecution of vulnerable victims of rape and domestic violence has to stop. Prosecute perpetrators instead. Jailing mothers is child abuse and must end.

WOMEN AGAINST RAPE war@womenagainstrape.net Tel 020 7482 2496 www.womenagainstrape.net
 

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