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.

 

 

 

£156,000 Victory after woman's fall from window ledge wrongly classed as accident, not violence

Success story

In 1992 Ms Q climbed through a window to escape two male acquaintances who after drinking alcohol together had locked her in a room and threatened her with rape. She lost her balance and fell three stories to the ground below. She suffered a broken back, smashed heel, leg injuries, and was unable to care for herself. The police had taken a statement from her within days of the injury, in her hospital bed when she was just out of intensive care and still heavily sedated. She had been unable to report to the male police officer that she had fallen while trying to get away from imminent rape, and that she had a history of child abuse which made her panic before she fell. The men were never prosecuted.

 

In 1994 her application for compensation was refused after the CICB ruled there had been "no crime of violence". Ms Q appealed, submitting WAR’s expert report.

At the appeal hearing in 1996, represented by WAR, Ms Q was informed that the CICB now accepted her entitlement but were sending her away to gather detailed medical documentation to help settle the amount. They advised her
to get a solicitor and a barrister. In 1998, Ms Q chose a lawyer and a barrister who were not the ones we recommended, and did not invite WAR to the hearing. The members at the hearing treated Ms Q, her witnesses and
representatives disrespectfully and dismissively. They implied she had attempted criminal fraud and had exaggerated her injuries. Her boyfriend was asked whether compensation money was the real motivation for their relationship. Ms Q was awarded £156,000 (after reductions for social security benefits). But since the barrister did not defend her or the witnesses effectively, in spite of the award, she was left feeling undermined and insulted.

 

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