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

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:


Camden group's battle to prioritise a heinous crime

In the Media

Those who help victims of rape need more funding, says Lisa Longstaff of Camden's Women Against Rape team

Viewpoint, Hampstead & Highgate Express, 2 April 2009

Lisa194cropHHart.JPGYour readers may have seen the widespread coverage of police negligence in the recent cases of convicted serial rapists Worboys and Reid.

Based in Camden for over 30 years, WAR has spearheaded a movement of rape survivors demanding justice from the criminal justice system. In those years while fighting many individual cases, we have

-- won recognition that rape in marriage is a crime (1991).

-- helped bring the first successful private prosecution for rape (1995).


Rape victims don't want tea and sympathy but protection and justice

In the Media

DSC04318LisaGDN.JPGDespite claims of 'progress', conviction rates for rape and violent crime have not risen, says Lisa Longstaff

The Guardian, Thursday 2 April 2009 

Following the disasters of the John Worboys and Kirk Reid rape cases, assistant Met commissioner John Yates admits that "nothing can excuse the failure to follow up straightforward lines of inquiry" ( Reinventing our response, 27 March).

But he tries to soften the blow by quoting a victim of Worboys - caught after years and maybe hundreds of victims - who told officers: "The most amazing thing you said when I first called up was, 'You will be believed.'"


Press Release: If Sapphire had been created to protect this rapist, they couldn’t have done a better job.

Appeal: The police are asking women who may have been raped or sexually assaulted by John Worboys to come forward. We too would like to be in touch with you. Please email: or call (020) 7482 2496, and leave a message and your number.

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