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.

 

 

 

Demand Margaret Nambi is granted refugee status!

ACTION ALERT! ACTION ALERT! ACTION ALERT!

Margaret Nambi has been released!
Now write to the Home Office demanding that she be given refugee status and allowed to stay in the UK!

On Tuesday 9 October, Margaret Nambi was detained in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre despite having just made a fresh claim for asylum which includes an account of how she was gang raped by soldiers in Uganda and forced to flee to the UK. This information is new; Ms Nambi was too terrified and embarrassed to speak about being raped when she was first questioned by male immigration officials – a very common experience[1]. Her account is corroborated by specialist expert reports. Ms Nambi is also a victim of trafficking. On arrival in the UK the woman who helped her escape forced her into domestic servitude and organised for her to be raped by many men over a period of years, profiting from it.

The Home Office justified Ms Nambi’s detention by saying she was about to be removed before her fresh claim had even been considered. Ms Nambi was on suicide watch in detention and told guards that “I would rather die here in front of you than die in Uganda”. She is convinced that her removal to Uganda would mean death for her. An injunction prevented Ms Nambi's removal after her fresh claim was refused. Lawyers challenged the refusal but the Home Office was refusing to release her in spite their own guidelines[2] which specify that victims of torture with independent expert evidence should NOT be detained. Threatened with Judicial Review proceedings, UKBA backed down, are reconsidering Ms Nambi’s claim and were forced to release her from detention.

Does Ms Nambi not count as a victim of persecution? Does rape not count as persecution? While William Hague is smooching with celebrities, claiming to act on “war zone rape[3]”, in reality, vulnerable rape victims such as Ms Nambi are being denied Refugee Status, locked up and deported.

Background
In 2001, Ms Nambi’s family was attacked by government soldiers. Her husband was beaten unconscious and abducted and Ms Nambi suffered a gang rape. Her young children were in the room at the time. When the soldiers left they told her that they would be back. Ms Nambi arranged for her children to be taken to safety and then went into hiding until her escape to the UK was arranged. She was forced to leave without her children believing that this was the only way to keep them safe. She is still deeply traumatised by the separation and worries constantly about how they are surviving.

• Write to the Home Office & the Immigration Minister demanding they now grant Ms Margaret Nambi Refugee Status.
public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk mark.harper.mp@parliament.uk

• Please use Home Office Reference Number N1081601

• Please make sure to send a copy to Women Against Rape asylumfromrape@womenagainstrape.net so that we can ensure her lawyers have your letters,
AND to Ms Nambi’s MP Bob Blackman bob.blackman.mp@parliament.uk

 

See here for a great piece on Ms Nambi's case by Alan White in the New Statesman

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[1] Our expert report helped establish the important precedent in the case of R v SSHD ex parte Ejon (QBD [1998 INLR]) that women may be “unable not unwilling” to report rape because of Rape Trauma Syndrome. Further, our research found that 20% of women had not been able to speak about rape before the Home Office considered their asylum case. (Misjudging Rape, Breaching Gender Guidelines & International Law in Asylum Appeals. Black Women’s Rape Action Project & Women Against Rape, Crossroads Books, 2006). A survey of women in Britain showed that “More than 80 per cent of the 1,600 respondents said they did not report their assault to the police, while 29 per cent said they told nobody – not even a friend or family member – of their ordeal” (Unreported rapes: the silent shame, The Independent, 12 March 2012).
[2] Enforcement Instructions and Guidance, point 55.10
[3] See interview with William Hague http://www.channel4.com/news/catch-up
 

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