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.

 

 

 

Complaint re Andrew Gilligan misrepresenting Women Against Rape

Following our complaint Gilligan’s Daily Telegraph blog has changed somewhat. But where is the apology for his slanderous misrepresentation of WAR?

Dear Marcus Warren

Andrew Gilligan’s blog on the Telegraph website “Ken Livingstone loses a few thousand more votes” totally misrepresents Women Against Rape. He says:

“My running-dog thesis is that both the major events of the past week – the arrest of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange on rape allegations, and the student ruck in Parliament Square – were specially arranged by some sort of Tory deity to confuse the Left and make it look stupid.

What else are we to make of the demand by Women Against Rape, no less, that the rape allegations against Mr Assange must not be investigated and the great hero immediately freed?”

We never said or implied any of this. We simply questioned the unusual zeal with which he is being pursued when so many rapists in both Britain and Sweden are not (Guardian letters, 9 December, see below). The figures speak for themselves: 90% of reported rapes never reach court in Sweden; the conviction rate is 6.5% in the UK and similar in Sweden; men accused of rape are routinely granted bail.

We are an independent women’s organisation which has campaigned for rape to be taken seriously and we have been supporting victims of rape for 34 years. We do not take kindly to women’s demand for protection and justice being misused to forward political agendas, which is what Mr Gilligan seems intent on, while rape continues to be neglected at best or protected at worst.

Mr Gilligan’s distortion of what we said misrepresents and undermines what we stand for, and we can only wonder why he is doing that. We stand for justice not for lynch mobs. Where does Mr Gilligan stand?

We would like to know what will be done to rectify his slanderous statement.

Sincerely,

Katrin Axelsson
Women Against Rape

CC
Tony Gallagher, Editor The Telegraph

Letters
Rape claims, WikiLeaks and internet freedom

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 8 December 2010 21.02 GMT

Many women in both Sweden and Britain will wonder at the unusual zeal with which Julian Assange is being pursued for rape allegations (Report, 8 December). Women in Sweden don't fare better than we do in Britain when it comes to rape. Though Sweden has the highest per capita number of reported rapes in Europe and these have quadrupled in the last 20 years, conviction rates have decreased. On 23 April 2010 Carina Hägg and Nalin Pekgul (respectively MP and chairwoman of Social Democratic Women in Sweden) wrote in the Göteborgs-Posten that "up to 90% of all reported rapes never get to court. In 2006 six people were convicted of rape though almost 4,000 people were reported". They endorsed Amnesty International's call for an independent inquiry to examine the rape cases that had been closed and the quality of the original investigations.

Assange, who it seems has no criminal convictions, was refused bail in England despite sureties of more than £120,000. Yet bail following rape allegations is routine. For two years we have been supporting a woman who suffered rape and domestic violence from a man previously convicted after attempting to murder an ex-partner and her children – he was granted bail while police investigated.

There is a long tradition of the use of rape and sexual assault for political agendas that have nothing to do with women's safety. In the south of the US, the lynching of black men was often justified on grounds that they had raped or even looked at a white woman. Women don't take kindly to our demand for safety being misused, while rape continues to be neglected at best or protected at worst.

Katrin Axelsson
Women Against Rape

 

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