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.

 

 

 

Black Women's Rape Action Project

Founded in 1991, we are one of the few Black women's organisations specialising in offering counselling, support and advice to Black women and other women of colour, immigrant and refugee women, who have suffered rape, sexual assault or other violence

RAPED, TORTURED… But denied asylum by the UK Home Office

In the Media
Cristel Amiss of Black Women’s Rape Action Project: ‘It’s harder for women to ge

voice_logo.jpgBy Dionne Grant 12 July 2006
Sara peered at them through the slit of her eyes. There were many, big men, vexed and merciless. Her husband, was bound in a corner, staring into blankness, their eyes met. Nothing transpired as she was mounted by the first man. He tore into her, she bore the pain in defiance. The second man came, the pain ripped through her abdomen and slammed into her head. She remained conscious throughout the ordeal – at least up to the point where the third man mounted her. There were many others after him, but her mind soon reached its threshold and she passed out.

A victim of the Congo’s brutal tribal war, her experience was common to the women of her village. Her husband and children were taken away and she was left for dead. She has not heard from them since.

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'Everything in my life has crumbled', the Guardian

A new study says that women asylum seekers who claim to have been raped in their own countries are rarely believed in British courts.

Laura Smith reports
Wednesday December 6, 2006, Guardian

When Amanda stepped off a boat in Southampton, earlier this year, she had, she says, just escaped a police cell in West Africa where she had been raped, sexually assaulted and tortured by guards and fellow prisoners. Suffering from severe abdominal pain and the trauma of leaving her two young children behind, she believed she had reached safe ground. But days after her arrival in Britain, she was taken to a detention centre and locked up for a month, during which time her asylum claim was rejected.

With no legal representation at her appeal, Amanda was forced to relive her ordeal before a judge she found hostile, and who accused her of lying about the rape. The appeal was turned down.

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'Why we believe the police have lost sight of rape'

In the Media

While Tony and Ian Blair focus on defeating terrorists, are domestic violence, rape and racist assault being forgotten?

By Lisa Longstaff and Cristel Amiss,
The Times , Tuesday 17 January 2006

SOON after the shooting of the Brazilian Jean-Charles de Menezes by anti-terrorist officers, Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, called for public debate on policing. Now Tony Blair has announced drastic, immediate measures against hooligans, truants and their parents. But the most common, violent and terrifying antisocial behaviour - rape, domestic violence, racist attacks - do not appear a priority for either Blair.

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Report of the delegation to Oona King, MP

Oona King, MP who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Great Lakes Region and Genocide Prevention, met with a delegation of over forty women from All African Women’s Group. Organised by Black Women’s Rape Action Project and Women Against Rape, rape survivors from Burundi, Congo Brazzaville, Congo DRC, Kenya and Uganda were able to speak powerfully, movingly and with great courage about what forced them to seek asylum in Britain. Every woman said that the arms trade was one of the crucial issues. A woman from Uganda said “For anyone to arrive here is so hard, it’s a lot of struggle to get here. The British government has a policy, since 1981, of backing Museveni. There’d be no raping and killings in the DRC, Rwanda or any of these places if this support did not happen. We wouldn’t have to come here to seek asylum. But nobody condemns Museveni. Why are we not entitled to asylum then? ”

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Racism against asylum seekers

In the Media

The Guardian article below came about as a result of Legal Action for Women’s National Gathering on Saturday 3 July 2004. Kamwaura Nygothi was one of a number of women who raised the racism they were suffering in the North East of England. As a result of the article we have received many sympathetic responses, including several from Middlesborough. People said how shocked and disgusted they are at the racism and some offered practical support and help with housing, food and donations. Some of the letters and articles can be seen below.

Every moment for me is fear
As an asylum seeker, I discovered what racism really means when I was 'dispersed' to Middlesbrough

Kamwaura Nygothi, The Guardian, Comment, Thursday July 8, 2004

I am an asylum seeker and I am black. I believe that in Middlesbrough, where the Home Office has placed me, I am not safe.

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Letter to All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region & Genocide Prevention

From Black Women's Rape Action Project and Women Against Rape 18 June 2004

Rape survivors from Burundi, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda facing destitution, detention and forced return

Report of meeting w Oona King

Dear Oona King,

We are writing to request an urgent meeting with the All Parliamentary Group on behalf of a group of women from the above countries. As you know, the situation in DRC has rapidly deteriorated as Rwandan troops invaded Bukavu[1]. Recently, an in-depth report exposed how teenage mothers – victims of multiple rape by militia – are forced by poverty to sell sex to UN Peace keepers for their and their children’s survival[2].

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Stop collaborating with the most repressive and racist immigration laws ever

Open Letter to: Refugee Council, Refugee Arrivals Project, Refugee Action & other voluntary groups

The Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 imposed vouchers, forced dispersal and increasingly detention (imprisonment) of asylum seekers. The Home Office set up the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) giving £8m for two years to the Refugee Council and others to implement NASS policies – a form of privatisation. This new "Poor Law" costs more to administer than the benefits it denies asylum seekers; thousands of women, children and men are forced to live without cash and well below the poverty line. It has inflamed racism and opens the way to depriving everyone – single mothers, people with disabilities, homeless and older people - of cash benefits.

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Response to Refugee Council’s letter in Times

In the Media

Dear Letters Editor,

That three main organisations supposed to protect the human rights of asylum seekers broadly welcome Blair's views (7 May 01 ) on asylum is frightening and potentially life threatening.

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