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.

 

 

 

Additional statement from Women Against Rape regarding rape allegations against Julian Assange

Women who are fighting for justice for themselves or their children are astounded at the zeal with which Julian Assange has been pursued. Questions need to be asked about the authorities’ motivation when men who pose an obvious immediate danger to women and girls are treated more leniently.

In our 34 years of dealing with rape – including cases of extreme violence where women have suffered years of domestic violence and repeated rape sometimes at knife point – we have seen defendants let out on bail, and police and prosecutors biased against rape survivors. One of the women in our group has been fighting for justice for her daughter who was raped when she was under age; it took the police several months to arrest the man though they had his address. In those months he raped another young woman.

We have always stood against rape being used by anyone to promote political agendas which have nothing to do with justice and protection for women who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Attempts to use women’s deep feelings about rape to introduce repressive measures which undermine the rights of defendants are not uncommon. Rape survivors have not benefitted from such agendas: they have not improved the way rape is dealt with or the likelihood that rapists will be arrested and convicted.

Only 6.5% of all reported rapes in the UK lead to a conviction. In Sweden 90% of reported cases never come to court. Women seeking asylum from rape who have fled wars in the Congo, Uganda and other countries routinely face disbelief and threats of deportation back to the horrors they have fled.

While we cannot comment on the allegations against Mr Assange since we do not know the facts of the case, we do not condone attacks against the women who reported him. Whatever the merits of their allegations, it is not them but the criminal justice authorities in both Sweden and England who are responsible for the way in which these allegations are being dealt with. The authorities’ poor record in dealing with rape has given the go-ahead to claims that most women who report rape are liars. In fact, police and prosecutors are often the first to disbelieve women – we are fighting several cases of rape victims being imprisoned for making a false allegation after they reported rape but were disbelieved by the authorities.

In defence of women and girls, and of anyone who has suffered rape or sexual assault, we cannot allow political agendas to pervert our struggle for justice.

16 December 2010

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