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.




False allegations or miscarriages of justice?

Woman jailed for falsely retracting rape claim is freed

In the Media

Lord chief justice says there is important distinction between false allegation of rape and false retraction of rape allegation

Helen Pidd, Tuesday 23 November 2010 14.43 GMT

The lord chief justice, Lord Judge, said the judiciary had a 'duty of compassion for a woman who had already been victimised'. Photograph: Tim Rooke/Rex Features

The most senior judge in England and Wales today freed a mother who had been jailed for retracting "truthful" allegations that she had been raped by her husband.

Overturning her eight-month sentence, Lord Judge, the lord chief justice, criticised the Crown Prosecution Service's decision to prosecute the 28-year-old woman, who he accepted had been the victim of prolonged domestic abuse and been put under pressure by her husband to withdraw the allegations. Judge said there should be "a broad measure of compassion for a woman who had already been victimised".


Miscarriages of justice in rape cases

In the Media

Guardian Letters, 29 Nov 2010

The prosecution of "Sarah", jailed for making a "false retraction" after years of maritalrape and abuse, screams injustice (She accused her husband of rape – and ended up in jail, 27 November). Why was she prosecuted? Why wasn't her sentence quashed? And why can't her rapist husband, who kept the children and the flat, be prosecuted now before he reoffends?


When reporting rape turns into a crime

In the Media

Women who drop rape allegations because of fear are being prosecuted. Our new guide is needed more than ever.
Lisa Longstaff Comment is free, Tuesday 9 November 2010 14.04 GMT

The imprisonment of a woman in Wales for withdrawing rape allegations against her husband is a nightmarish addition to the discrimination awaiting women and girls who seek justice after suffering rape and sexual assault.

Just 6.5% of reported rapes end up with a rape conviction (and 87% end with no conviction at all). Stalking, threats to kill and further assaults are common from violent men who have been reported, especially when they have had a relationship with the victim. Two women a week are killed by partners and ex-partners. Many other women commit suicide to end the terrorism they face.


The family of a Carlisle woman jailed for three years for faking a sex attack have vowed to fight to clear her name “if it takes forever”.

In the Media

Cumberland News Exclusive by Sarah Newstead
Published at 10:52, Friday, 16 July 2010

Leyla Elhand Mohamed Ibrahim, 22, of Deer Park Road, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by a Carlisle Crown Court jury on June 17.

Her claim that she was attacked in the early hours of January 4 last year 2009 on a footpath near Cavendish Terrace sparked a manhunt involving up to 40 police officers and costing £150,000.

Sentencing yesterday, Judge Paul Batty QC described the crime as “wicked” and commended the police officers who led the investigation.

Now seven months pregnant, Ibrahim will give birth in jail and could have her baby taken from her.

But her distraught mother, Sandra Allen, 53, says she will always believe her daughter is innocent.


Gail Sherwood on life in prison

"As a mother separated from children, partner and dogs, it's like a living hell. Worrying about what's going on at home, running the home from far away. My partner lost it big time yesterday, he's really struggling. People say let them get on with their lives but I can't. Everything in the home was pivotal around me and they all ask me for advice and guidance on what they should do next. Tell them what to feed the puppies, how to fix the internet . . . I've had my youngest girl sobbing down the phone. All I can do is talk them through it. My partner tells me I mustn't cry because it upsets him.

I am allowed to hug them when they visit, when they first come in, but not after that. My family get sniffed by the drug dog – we've got 20 dogs at home so of course the drug dogs sniff them! Then we were told we were being watched for drugs for the whole visit. Same happened with two of my friends – they've both got dogs too."


What you can do to support Gail Sherwood

On 4th March 2010, Gail Sherwood, a 52-year-old mother of three, was sentenced to two years in prison for falsely claiming she had been harassed and raped by an unknown stranger. Women Against Rape has been supporting Gail for over 18 months and throughout her six-week trial. We are convinced that she is innocent. So are over 70 of her friends and family who wrote to the judge: “We have always found Gail to be kind, intelligent, well-balanced, and above all honest... [She] had no reason to jeopardise her family life with her daughters, her partner, her dogs and her livelihood by making up something that did not happen...”

For more information visit ( and read the excellent article published in the Guardian on Friday 5th March 2010 (


Jailed for crying rape: fantasist or genuine victim?

Supporters of Gail Sherwood say her conviction will discourage others from reporting attacks. Prosecutors say she had to be taken to court for the sake of real rape victims

Steven Morris, Tuesday 9 March 2010 13.19 GMT
Article history


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