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.




Demanding Justice and protection from the Police and CPS

Asylum from Rape Bulletin Winter 2010


image002.jpgLandmark compensation for torture victim and her family

A mother and her five children have won a precedent-setting, six figure compensation award from the Home Office for abuse and injuries sustained during deportation to Uganda in 2006.


Retaining DNA won't get rid of rape

In the Media

We are told retaining DNA samples helps catch rapists - but rape survivors' pain should not be manipulated to attack civil liberties Comment is Free, Friday 13 November 2009 12.30 GMT

The Home Office has had to reduce the time the police hold the DNA of people not convicted of any crime. But six years is still unacceptably long and it is still unclear how many people's DNA will be kept indefinitely.

We are told that retaining samples helps catch rapists and murderers. But no reliable figures exist on how many violent criminals cleared of one offence were later convicted through DNA.


Good news and appeal

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce that on Tuesday we helped a woman in our network win £10,200 compensation. She had suffered a particularly prolonged and horrific rape but had been denied any award because she was a heroin user at the time she was raped. We represented her at a compensation appeal hearing and are delighted she has finally won some justice.

This follows a very busy period. Following the scandalous Worboys, Reid and Southwark cases this summer, we met with the Director of Public Prosecutions (head of the CPS) and senior officers setting up the new London-wide police teams that have taken over from Sapphire. We told them what changes were needed to improve investigations and prosecutions, and two survivors in our group illustrated the problems by describing their own recent experiences. All were interested and respectful, but we wait to see if there is real change in practice.


Sexism still part of new rape law

The Times, Law, Tuesday July 13, 1999

The defence should not be able to question victims on their sexual history, say Ruth Hall and Lisa Longstaff
... We wrote to the unit this year as part of our campaign to end trawling through the victim's sexual history to discredit her, a key cause of police not recording a rape and the Crown Prosecution Service not prosecuting it . The unit said sexual history is sometimes relevant: "...a defendant might claim that he believed that the complainant was consenting because he had been told that she always kicked and screamed during sex. This would be relevant to his honest belief".


Row on change in rape evidence

Jay faces row on change in rape evidence

THE Minister for Women. Baroness Jay of Paddington, was at the centre of a row last night over plans to reform the admissibility of the sexual history of a woman victim as evidence in rape trials. The proposals are soon to be considered by the House of Lords. They are opposed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham of Cornhill, and the organisation Women against gape for conflicting reasons.

The controversy has been fuelled by the disclosure that the Government's own Women's Unit, headed by Lady Jay, says that there are times when a woman's sexual history may be relevant. In particular, the unit says that it could be relevant to whether a man thought a woman had consented to sex or not — the attacker's defence that he — "thought she wanted it".


Open letter to Jack Straw

Dear Home Secretary Jack Straw,
Re: excluding victims’ sexual history from rape trials


Anti-sexist credibility?

Response to Leader of the House of Lords and Minister for Women, Baroness Margaret Jay's article published in The Journal, Issue 142, June 25

MALIKA THOMPSON, Black Women's Rape Action Project
LISA LONGSTAFF, Women Against Rape


Devious barristers and ignorant judges allow a woman’s sexual past to be disclosed in rape trials

Rape trial rules flouted by 'devious' barristers
The Times June 21, 2006, Richard Ford, Home Correspondent

DEVIOUS barristers and ignorant judges are frustrating the Government’s attempt to stop details of a woman’s sexual past being disclosed in rape trials, according to a report published yesterday.

Rape victims continue to believe that having a number of sexual partners gives them a “reputation” and implies that they are less worthy of belief by the authorities.

Barristers who use devious tactics to get round the law are being aided by judges who are unaware of the crown court rules and have little knowledge of the legislation that was introduced in 1999.

The new rules have had no “discernible effect” on the number of allegations of rape ending in a successful prosecution as the conviction rate has continued to fall, according to the report published by the Home Office.


Petition: End the Rape of Justice


Since in cases of rape and sexual assault

o   The conviction rate for recorded rape is only 5.7% 

o   Despite the introduction of legal changes, specialist units and further training, many of those paid to enforce the law on rape are not doing this job

o  The police often do not collect all the evidence or lose or misinterpret it

o  The Crown Prosecution Service routinely turn down strong cases and often prosecute rape incompetently and negligently

o  Judges exercise their own sexism, racism and other prejudice, allowing victims to be put on trial in court (including through the illegal use of their sexual history), misdirecting juries and reinforcing prejudices they may bring

o  Incompetent professionals, who would be disciplined or even sacked in other professions, are not dismissed and rarely disciplined in any way.


Damning IPCC report into police rape investigation

Anonomous shadow outlineWhen it was made public that the police had allowed John Worboys to rape dozens and possibly hundreds of women, many people asked, “How could this happen?” A damning report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) issued in response to a rape victim’s complaint, hits the media today. It provides a blow-by-blow of an unconnected rape investigation by London’s flagship specialist rape units – Project Sapphire. It shows that:

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