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.

 

 

 

John Worboys

Taxi rapes case lays police failures bare

In the Media

John Worboys's victims were let down by a careless and prejudiced police investigation. It's an all too familiar story

Lisa Longstaff
Comment is Free guardian.co.uk Wednesday 20 January 2010

DSC04318LisaGDN.JPGThe young victim of convicted rapist John Worboys said it all: "If something like this had happened in a private business, people would have been sacked. I just do not see how these people can carry on in the police."

The report from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) on what went wrong with the Worboys police investigation is once again a catalogue of carelessness and prejudice: evidence not gathered, witnesses not interviewed and, most importantly, bias against victims.

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It is a national disgrace that in 2009 rape almost always goes unpunished

In the Media

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

Guardian 15 April 09
by Libby Brooks

I have only heard one person expounding at length that women regularly "cry rape" in order to enjoy a free ride home in a squad car after a night out. And he was a detective sergeant. Certainly, a tiny and overexposed minority do confect allegations. Many, many more do not. This is Britain in the spring of 2009. An estimated 47,000 women are raped in this country every year. Between 75% and 95% of them will never report their attack. Of those who do, only a quarter make it to court, and there face an abject conviction rate of 6.5%. By my most conservative calculations, this results in 191 of those 47,000 ever seeing justice done.

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The rapists' best friend

In the Media

Comment & Debate
The Worboys case is a familiar catalogue of police incompetence, laziness and prejudice, Lisa Longstaff
The Guardian, Saturday 14 March 2009

If the Sapphire unit - set up by the Metropolitan police to focus exclusively on sexual offences - had been created to protect John Worboys, the taxi driver found guilty yesterday of a series of rapes and assaults, it couldn't have done a better job. We are unfortunately very familiar with such a catalogue of police incompetence, laziness, prejudice and even hostility.

Despite decades of campaigning publicly and privately for the police to take rape seriously, all we have seen is a series of public relations exercises that change nothing. Rape continues to be deprioritised. Each time we complain we are told that rape is particularly difficult to prove. But the blunders are glaring and always the same.

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Black cab rapist John Worboys jailed for at least eight years, The Times, April 22, 2009

(Metropolitan Police/PA)  John Worboys

 

From The Times
April 22, 2009

Adam Fresco, Crime Correspondent

A taxi driver feared to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex attackers was jailed indefinitely yesterday for drugging and assaulting a string of women in his cab.

John Worboys, 51, a former stripper, was told at Croydon Crown court that he would serve a minimum of eight years by a judge who said he had “perfected a web of deceit” to ensnare young women.

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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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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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Black cab rapist John Worboys jailed for at least eight years

In the Media

The Times, April 22, 2009 Adam Fresco, Crime Correspondent

A taxi driver feared to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex attackers was jailed indefinitely yesterday for drugging and assaulting a string of women in his cab.

John Worboys, 51, a former stripper, was told at Croydon Crown court that he would serve a minimum of eight years by a judge who said he had “perfected a web of deceit” to ensnare young women.

Detectives believe that he could have attacked as many as 500 women during a 12-year-career as a London taxi driver. Since he was charged 75 have told police they believe they too were attacked by Worboys and since the trial more than 40 others have come forward.

He would tell his female passengers that he had won money at the casino, showing them a wad of cash, and then offer them spiked drinks, usually champagne, before sexually assaulting them.

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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).

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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" (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/26/john-yates-police 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.'"

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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: war@womenagainstrape.net or call (020) 7482 2496, and leave a message and your number.

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