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.

 

 

 

Two women raped at knifepoint win £5,000, but Appeal Panel member says rape is not the same for prostitutes

Success story

In 1995 two women won the first private prosecution for rape, assisted by the English Collective of Prostitutes, Legal Action for Women and WAR. They were raped by the same client on different occasions. He got 14 years in prison, reduced to 11 on appeal. In court the defence accused them of inventing the rape in order to claim compensation (a common tactic, sometimes thrown even at women who never apply for compensation). They had intitially been refused compensation for delay in reporting and non-cooperation with the police, but when the man was convicted, the CICA heard an appeal. They went before a Panel of three male QCs, represented by WAR. Although the Panel had already decided to grant an award they commented that there was a question as to whether prostitutes were entitled to the same amount as other women. One even implied that the effects of rape on prostitutes are not as serious, since they would have had sex if they had been paid, despite a medical report confirming persisting Rape Trauma Syndrome and witnesses who came to confirm the serious effects of the rapes. WAR challenged this, and pointed out the world of difference between consenting sex for money and being raped at knifepoint. The Panel also questioned whether they paid tax; they said no. They finally awarded the women £5,000 each but later refused to put their reasons in writing.

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