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.

 

 

 

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.

We are helped in that we are a self-help group so women are expected to be active on their own case as well as being ready to help others.

With BWRAP, LAW and WAR we co-ordinate a daily rota of volunteers taking calls from women in detention and working on our own cases. Many of us who do this work have been detained ourselves. So we know the fight women make from our own experience as well as from the position of helping women in this way.

What initially prompted this meeting was that we couldn’t get hold of women inside and we thought it unacceptable that women in detention should be isolated from life-saving support.

Most importantly women in detention are up against a regime determined to stop us from organising and associating with others. That is why the work we do informing women of their rights, using a copy of LAWs Guide (a copy gets sent to every woman in detention who is in touch with us) is so crucial because it gives women strength, encouragement and confidence to fight. Our group which can call on the support of other groups at the Centre gives us individually the strength to carry on.

Much of our experience is very hidden. In Africa and in the other countries we came from we organised for survival and change. When faced with persecution we organised to save our lives and the lives of our family and get to the UK. This achievement is never acknowledged. It requires mental and physical courage and we have to do this at moments when we may be traumatised by what we have suffered including death of loved ones and torture.

What is also hidden is what happens to us when we are sent back. I know this from personal experience and we have kept in touch with women after they have been removed and know that some have been raped or tortured in other ways. This is evidence against claims that we are bogus and don’t have the right to be here. As Cristel said we want action to come out from this meeting and one of our central demands is an enquiry into what happens to the thousands of women, children and men who are sent back.

Tags: