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.

 

 

 

Victories

Ms L wins £11,000 at Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority appeal

A rape survivor who was unable to give a full statement to the police applied for compensation three years later, fought an initial refusal – and won!

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Asylum from Rape Bulletin Spring 2009

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Winning compensation for unlawful detention of rape survivor

image001.jpgYou may have heard about the case of Ms PB who was recently awarded £38,000 for unlawful detention including £6000 “aggravated damages”  for the suffering caused to her as a victim of rape and other torture. Ms PB first spoke about the rape she suffered to her first lawyer, who told her not to raise it in court. It was not until she read the material we sent her, including WAR's Rights Sheet for Rape Survivors Seeking Asylum, and spoke to one of our volunteers, that she felt able to speak about it again. Our rota of volunteers continues to be a life-line for women in Yarl’s Wood who can get help nowhere else. For many women it has been the only way they have found the courage to speak about rape.

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Rwanda rape victim in brave fight to help others

In the Media

Stella Mpaka, of Women Against Rape, is now helping others to overcome their personal nightmares.

Ham & High 24 logo

 14 May 2009

Your article (Camden group's battle to prioritise a heinous crime, H&H April 2) showed some of Women Against Rape's (WAR) ground breaking work winning justice for rape survivors. I can personally testify to the life-saving support provided to women like me.

I am a rape survivor from Rwanda. My family fled because of the genocide. We later returned thinking it was safe, but in 2000 my father 'disappeared' and my family fled again.

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Rape finally acknowledged by UN as a weapon of war

Resource

The UN resolution to classify rape as a weapon of war is a victory for the thousands of individual rape survivors and organisations like ours that have campaigned for official recognition of rape as torture and persecution.

Our petition with this demand has been circulating since October 2006 and collected thousands of signatures, including from prominent people like Caroline Moorhead, Gareth Peirce, Juliet Stevenson and Benjamin Zephaniah.

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Fantastic News from Maureen M, one of our dedicated volunteers.

“ Many of you may be familiar with my story but in case you aren’t I tell some of it here. In November 2007, I won the right to stay after four long years of fighting even to get my asylum case heard. My four children were lost in Burundi where I was forced to leave them when I fled for my life after being imprisoned, raped and tortured.

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Maureen on hearing that she won her case

“Winning my case was not the end, it was just the beginning. It is a victory and a part of me wants to be happy but I can’t be happy because of my children. If I feel happy I feel guilty because I don’t have them with me.

"It took all my strength and emotions to win. I was drained and so tired  because every little thing is a fight. But mainly I was at the end of my strength because of my constant thoughts of my children I had to leave  behind. My life has gone ahead but my wounds have become deeper all this  time.

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Asylum from Rape Bulletin Summer 2008

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Women reunited with their children

5 March was one of the happiest occasions of this past year for many of us.  Betty A, a longstanding and much loved volunteer was reunited with the four children whom she was forced to leave behind when she fled Uganda.  The full and heart-rending story is still to be told but the reunification of this family is the culmination of an extraordinary effort over two years by Betty herself, WAR and our dedicated supporters. More  

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Asylum From Rape Bulletin – Summer 2007

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Misjudging Asylum, Rape and Detention – 17 July 2007

John Mc Donnell MP and Lord Avebury hosted a packed meeting in the House of Commons which brought together women asylum seekers, MPs, Lords, lawyers, community and breastfeeding activists and other supporters to highlight the obstacles rape survivors face in getting their claims recognized. WAR’s speaker highlighted research to which we contributed, which found that 70% of women in Yarl’s Wood are rape survivors*, despite Home Office guidelines which say survivors of torture should not be detained. Many have never felt able to speak about rape before they contact us, or have been ignored or disbelieved when they did. Barrister Louise Hooper from Garden Court Chambers warned that solicitors will not be able to afford to take on “complex” cases when proposed legal aid cuts take effect in the autumn.

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Asylum From Rape Bulletin October/November 2006

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Our Asylum from Rape Project provides self-help support services to rape survivors seeking asylum. We offer help and referrals, welcome volunteers and provide guidance to organisations on how to meet women’s needs.

New publication: Misjudging Rape - A Dossier of how adjudicators (now known as immigration judges) flout international law and even their own guidelines when they consider the asylum claims of women and girls seeking safety and protection from rape. Compiled by Black Women’s Rape Action Project (BWRAP) & Women Against Rape (WAR).

Launch: 6.30pm, Tuesday 5 Dec 06 Hosted by Ian Macdonald QC at Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln ’s Inn Fields, London WC2.

Victories!

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Victims of rape and other torture win against unlawful detention and removal

An important report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons into healthcare at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre was published yesterday. It focused on “the support and treatment of detainees with mental and traumatic stress disorders, and on issues raised by the medical case management of two female detainees (Ms A and Ms B).” The detained women were two of nearly 300 rape survivors in Yarl’s Wood Removal Centre who have contacted Black Women’s Rape Action Project (BWRAP) and Women Against Rape (WAR) since June 2005. With other organizations, BWRAP and WAR provided intensive support to the two women and others who went on hunger strike with them to protest at conditions in detention and the threat of deportation. Like Ms A and Ms B, many vulnerable women in Yarl’s Wood and other detention centres are being left without legal representation, medical or any other kind of help.

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