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.

 

 

 

Yarl's Wood

Ask asylum seekers what we need to survive and be safe

Selina Mofokeng
Women speak out in Parliament against detention, deportation, privatisation and profiteering. 14 January 2010
Report of meeting and more speaches

Selinareport.JPGMy name is Selina, I was detained twice in Yarl’s Wood, for 4 months while pregnant and again for 3 weeks when my baby was only 9 weeks old.

I was sick from the pregnancy and couldn’t make it to the dining room. Taking food into the rooms is not allowed, so sick women go for days without food. My friends would sneak some food to the room for me so I wouldn’t starve.

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We can’t sit by while victims of rape and other torture are deported

Kristina Brandemo, Women Against Rape
Women speak out in Parliament against detention, deportation, privatisation and profiteering. 14 January 2010
Report of meeting and more speaches

I would first like to mention some international decisions grassroots women have won in pressing for rape to be acknowledged as grounds for asylum

UN resolution 1820 recognises rape as a method of war.

A Humanitarian Protection criteria for seeking asylum has been introduced in the UK. It specifically mentions rape as a form of “serious harm”. Until this the only way people could claim asylum was under the Refugee Convention which did not refer to women or rape and sexual violence.

But these victories have not fundamentally changed what women can win in the UK courts.

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Making millions out of suffering

Leyla04964.JPGLeyla Sami
Women speak out in Parliament against detention, deportation, privatisation and profiteering. 14 January 2010
Report of meeting and more speaches

My name is Leyla and I have been detained in Yarl’s Wood twice, once in 2007 when I first arrived in this country and was put on the fast track, and then again this year I was detained for almost six months.

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Our role as mothers is not recognised, we are central to the community

JaliaDSC04944_0.JPGJalia Seremba
Women speak out in Parliament against detention, deportation, privatisation and profiteering. 14 January 2010
Report of meeting and more speaches

I was detained for 2 ½ months with my partner, my 3-year old son and 8 month old baby. I want to say that being detained with children is like torture, and the children suffer a lot. But it’s not enough to stop child detention. No-one who is traumatised and seeking protection should be in detention, they need help.

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My life was decided in 10 working days

Isata.JPGIsata Ceesay Denton
Women speak out in Parliament against detention, deportation, privatisation and profiteering. 14 January 2010
Report of meeting and more speaches

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Coming together for self-help

Mariareport.JPGMaria Kassaga, All African Women's Group, Introduction
Women speak out in Parliament against detention, deportation, privatisation and profiteering. 14 January 2010
Report of meeting and more speaches

All African Women’s Group, founded in 2002, is a group of women of different nationalities from different backgrounds. We may sometimes come from different sides of a political conflict but we have managed to stay together because we cease to think of ourselves as rivals but as people going thru the same experience. The problems we have unite us.

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Asylum – a struggle for justice versus an industry?

CrisReport04915.JPGCristel Amiss, Black Women's Rape Action Project, Introduction
Women speak out in Parliament against detention, deportation, privatisation and profiteering. 14 January 2010
Report of meeting and more speaches

I want to begin by thanking John McDonnell for providing a meeting room. He has for the second time made it possible for women who are rarely heard to have a platform in parliament.

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PRESS RELEASE Public Event: Can You Hear Us?

For immediate Release: 020 7482 2496 or 07980 659 831

Women’s uncensored experiences of detention and deportation
All speakers will be available for interview.

Date: 14 January
Time: 6-8pm
Venue: Committee Room 5, House of Commons

While the brutal detention of children has been finally condemned, little has been said about the detention of mothers and its impact on families, including children, and other vulnerable people.

Over 70% of women seeking asylum are rape survivors [1]. Many are detained in prison-like conditions throughout Britain, including in Yarl’s Wood Removal Centre which holds over 400 women and their families. This is in breach of national guidelines and international agreements.

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Can you hear us?

Event

Start and End Dates

Women’s uncensored experiences of detention and deportation

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Speakers include:

Paulina B – won a precedent setting case & compensation for illegal detention, Fatma K – centrally involved in a Yarl’s Wood hunger strike which led to over a dozen rape survivors being released, Celina M – witnessed the sprucing up of Yarl’s Wood in preparation for VIP visits, Jalia S – detained with her two small children – interviewed by TV on release.

Plus taped interviews with women currently detained or illegally deported.

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Landmark compensation for torture victim and her family

Mary and her five children have won a precedent-setting, six figure compensation award from the Home Office for abuse and injuries sustained during deportation to Uganda in 2006. Mary, a rape survivor, was supported throughout by Women Against Rape (WAR) who found legal representation to bring this case, through Leigh Day & Co. solicitors.

Injuries sustained
During the deportation, Mary and her children, the youngest of whom was just nine months old, suffered humiliating and degrading assaults that included Mary being punched and having pressure applied to her throat; being forcibly handcuffed with excessive force; threatened her teeth would be broken; being forced to keep her head between her thighs for half the flight.

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