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.

 

 

 

Police

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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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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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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Met rape apology not enough

Evening Standard, ES message board, 30 March 2009

WHEN my daughter was raped I convinced her to report it to the police.

They treated her well and we thought that meant we'd get justice. An IPCC report has now confirmed that the Southwark police investigation into her rape was a total disaster: evidence was lost or not gathered and the rapist wasn't arrested for months.

This and other rapes were left in the hands of unqualified and uncaring officers while resources were diverted to vehicle and property crimes.

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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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Ian Huntley was not a one-off

In the Media

Fatally lax policing practices allowed Ian Huntley to repeat offend and work at a school. But, shockingly, this is the norm for violence against girls and women, say Claire Glasman and Lisa Longstaff

The Independent, LAW, 6 January 2004

It took the murder of two children in Soham to expose, yet again, how often the police do not act to protect women and girls. In the eight years before he killed Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, there were at least 11 reports of Ian Huntley's sexual offences against young girls and under-age teenagers. Huntley was rarely charged or even interviewed, and he was never convicted. Time after time, the police ignored evidence or failed to make further investigations about Huntley's offending. And, in addition to the reported incidents, several ex-girlfriends have since said that they suffered violence - being beaten unconscious, thrown down stairs - at Huntley's hand.

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Press release: Without Consent report on police & CPS, 07

Press release – about Without Consent – published Jan 07

Her Majesty’s Inspectors have again produced a scathing report about the scandalous refusal of the police and CPS to act against rape.

As a grassroots women’s group taking calls from rape victims daily we contributed to their last report, in 2002. Since then, laws have been passed, guidelines have been issued, much publicity has been generated – and the conviction rate for reported rape has continued to fall.

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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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