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.

 

 

 

Independent Police Complaints Commission

Police pay compensation in precedent rape claim

In the Media

PRESS RELEASE

A landmark civil suit was settled on recently with the Metropolitan police paying £15,000 damages to a woman whose rape when she was 15 was badly mishandled by a police Sapphire Team in Southwark, London. With the scandals in the news of scores of girls raped over years in Rochdale, Rotherham and by Jimmy Savile (and possibly his associates), this case puts the spotlight on the flagship Sapphire Rape Units.

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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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It is a national disgrace that in 2009 rape almost always goes unpunished, The Guardian 15 April 09

Today's measures can have little impact in the face of a culture that systematically neglects victims of sexual assault, by Libby Brooks           

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'This crime ruins people's lives', The Guardian, Friday 27 March 2009

Photograph: Teri Pengilley/Guardian

The case of Kirk Reid - yesterday convicted of assaulting 25 women - has exposed severe failings in rape investigations. Rachel Williams talks to a teenager whose own allegation was so badly handled that it led to a damning internal police inquiry

The Guardian, Friday 27 March 2009
In spring 2005, Sally noticed that there was something wrong with her daughter Rebecca. The 15-year-old was constantly crying, taking two or three baths a day, and was unable to sleep, being plagued with nightmares. Sally pleaded with Rebecca to explain what was upsetting her, but to no avail until her daughter finally woke her one night at 4am. She said that six weeks earlier she had met a man who had seemed friendly, but the next day he had raped her.

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Police targets 'meant car crime was given higher priority than rape', The Guardian, Tuesday 17 March 2009

Yard unit was understaffed and overburdened. Inquiry says untrained officers handled cases

by Rachel Williams

One of Scotland Yard's elite sexual assault units has been condemned for serious failures after untrained officers were left investigating rapes, despite repeated pleas to management for more detectives.

An internal inquiry describes how cases were mishandled in a department that was "understaffed, underskilled and overburdened". It also documents claims by members of Southwark's Sapphire team that management treated car crime as a higher priority than sex offences, because it was under pressure to meet targets for solving cases. The percentage of rape allegations that end up in court is notoriously low.

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A specialist unit set up by Scotland Yard to investigate sexual assaults has been severely criticised for failing to properly manage a rape allegation by a 15-year-old girl.

In the Media

In a damning report the Independent Police Complaints Commission has found that there were “significant errors” made during the inquiry by the much-vaunted Sapphire unit in Southwark.

Times Online, Adam Fresco, Crime Correspondent, 18 March 2009

Although someone was charged in connection with the serious sexual assault, he was acquitted after a trial. The report says that during the court case “it became clear that a number of errors had been made by the police”.

The criticism comes just days after John Worboys, a London taxi driver, was found guilty of a series of sex attacks on 12 women. The Times revealed that 12 women went to the Metropolitan police to complain about a taxi driver but their allegations were never linked by Sapphire teams.
They also missed an opportunity to stop Worboys in July 2007 when he was arrested and then set free.

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