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.

 

 

 

Sapphire

Pubs and clubs to face closure in rape crackdown

In the Media

Exclusive: Met police's sex crimes unit, Sapphire, will target male behaviour where high levels of rape and sexual assaults take place

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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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Thank you for the card and kind words of support

Success story

shadowrapeanon.jpgThank you for the card and kind words of support. I dread to think where we would have been now had we never have come to WAR. As you say, part of the healing process is when the perpetrator is found guilty and how devastating that is when that does no happen. You persecute yourself for allowing that to go on, but I guess in a way doing what we are doing is in itself part of the healing process.

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Mum makes appeal after rape unit complaints

In the Media

Southwark News 25 June 2009 By Oliver Pugh

[Contact us if you made formal complaint about how rape was investigated by Southwark Sapphire Unit war@womenagainstrape.net]

The mum of a fifteen-year-old rape victim at the centre of a ‘botched’ investigation by Southwark police has appealed for two new victims to come to her support group, after they made similar complaints to a police watchdog.

The two new complaints about Southwark’s Sapphire Unit were lodged in May and, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), they concerned alleged rapes in that month.

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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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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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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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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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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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