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.

 

 

 

In the Media

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.

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Women will be the losers if the Government allows anonymity

In the Media

Independent, 10 July 2010

Comment

Anonymity for men accused of rape was introduced in 1976 but reversed in 1988 because it hampered police investigations. The proposal to reintroduce it relies on the sexist myth that women are quick to lie about rape.

Nothing is further from the truth. It is extremely hard for women to report rape, and 90 per cent 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 per cent.

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We must end the detention of families

In the Media

The Guardian, Tuesday 18 May 2010  Letters

"We will end the detention of children for immigration purposes," says the new coalition government (Asylum children will be kept out of 'distressing' detention centres, 14 May). But what about their mothers?

Paediatricians and psychologists have testified to the mental and physical harm caused to children by detention. But separating them from their mother or primary carer is even worse; it may cause "insecurity, depression and anxiety" which lasts throughout life.

The recent six-week hunger strike by women in Yarl's Wood removal centre brought to public attention that many women detained inside are mothers whose children were taken by social services or other family members. Some face deportation and permanent separation, often after years of raising a family in the UK.

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First person: 'I was illegally deported from Britain'

In the Media
Photo of Mary

Mary, 40 Interview by Cheryl Gallagher, The Independent Saturday, 17 April 2010

Mary says: 'The immigration escorts dragged us to the plane. They were pulling my hair and my braids fell out'

In the run-up to the 2001 elections in my country in East Africa, I was campaigning for an opposition group when some government soldiers kidnapped me in front of my children. I was raped and tortured and they starved me. After about a month, one of the soldiers accidentally left the door open and I escaped. I decided that I had to leave the country with my children.

After we had been in England for a few years, we were woken up at 5am by a loud bang at the door. A man shouted: "Open up! Immigration." We'd had no warning we were going to be deported. We were caged in the back of a van like prisoners and they wouldn't let me take my medication for depression.

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Legal challenge over Yarl's Wood women

In the Media

Centre breaching human rights, say lawyers
Treatment of inmates is 'cruel and degrading'

Matthew Taylor
The Guardian, Monday 1 March 2010

Lawyers are due to launch a legal challenge today on behalf of four women held at Yarl's Wood detention centre, claiming their incarceration amounts to "cruel, inhumane and degrading" treatment that breaches their human rights.

The lawyers, who say they will submit the application at the high court in London, are applying for a judicial review of the government's detention policy, claiming it breaches articles 3, 5 and 8 of the European convention on human rights.

"This disgraceful policy will now be the subject of legal challenge," said Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, which is bringing the action. "It is unlawful and we are calling, on behalf of our clients, for the policy to be struck down and for there to be an independent investigation."

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