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.




The Upper Tribunal has rescheduled the Home Office’s appeal against Noela Claye, please write to Theresa May to withdraw the appeal

Good News! Noela Claye hearing tomorrow 28 March has been adjourned again, so there's still time to write to help stop Ms Claye from having to go through yet another hearing – see below. 


Support Ms Noela Claye: Demand the Home Office withdraw its action against a rape survivor who won the right to stay in the UK.

Ms Noela Claye suffered horrific rape and other violence in 1995 in Sierra Leone during the civil war. In November last year she won the right to stay in the UK. The Home Office is now appealing that decision! Please support Ms Claye by writing to demand that the Home Office drop the appeal and allow Ms Claye the chance to live in safety and to recover.

Ms Claye was forced to flee when her neighbourhood was attacked. Her home was burnt to the ground and she lost contact with her children and other family members. She was brutally gang raped by three men whilst sheltering for safety. She escaped again and was helped to go to Gambia, where she received medical treatment for her severe internal injuries.

The extent of rape in Sierra Leone is well documented. The International Rescue Committee reported that “By the end of her life span, nearly all Sierra Leonean women will suffer from some form of sexual or gender-based violence.[i] Few women report the rape and those that do rarely see their attacker brought to justice.[ii]

Ms Claye arrived in the UK nine years ago. She found that some family members were already here and went to live with them. She couldn’t tell them about the rape because of the stigma and because she feared she might be ostracised. When her visa ran out she was too fearful and ashamed to make an asylum claim, which would have meant explaining why she fled. Instead, her relatives scraped together money to pay a private lawyer to make a “family life” application (under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act). Ms Claye referred to the rape when speaking to the lawyer but he left it out of her claim.

In 2012 Ms Claye joined the All African Women’s Group and met Women Against Rape. In this supportive environment Ms Claye finally felt able to speak about the rape and WAR pressed for it to be included in her appeal. Cuts to legal aid meant Ms Claye’s family had to pay another private lawyer and there was no money for psychiatric or other expert evidence to corroborate her account of rape. [iii].

At the hearing, Ms Claye was aggressively interrogated by the Home Office presenting officer Ms P Ellis, who seized on a mistake about the date the rape occurred and instead of letting Ms Claye explain, used it to undermine her. Supported by family members and women from the All African Women’s Group, Ms Claye insisted she was telling the truth. She was forced to go through details (in front of her family, some of whom knew nothing about it). Sian Evans (Women Against Rape) testified on Ms Claye’s behalf. Throughout Ms Claye was visibly distraught, frequently breaking down in tears and eventually collapsed completely. Her supporters and even the cut throat Ms Ellis were wiping away tears.

Ms Claye was deeply relieved when she got the Judge’s ruling granting her the right to stay in the UK. But then came the news that the Home Office had applied to appeal, [iv] and Judge Frankish in giving permission commented that Ms Claye had “exaggerated her account” of rape.

Asylum seekers and other immigrants are frequently accused of “frivolous applications” and “abusing the system”.[v] Yet WAR frequently sees the Home Office vindictively and relentlessly pursue cases even where, as in Ms Claye’s case, there is compelling evidence of rape and other torture. How can it justify prolonging people’s suffering in this way? How can this waste of public funds be justified? The government cut legal aid but it didn’t cut fees to their well-paid lawyers. Reports that immigration staff get financial incentives to refuse asylum applications confirms the corruption and brutality at the heart of this system.[vi]

Ms Claye is so severely depressed at the thought of recounting again what happened to her that she is on medication. She has lived for years with the trauma of rape and never had the chance to heal. Her suffering is compounded by grief and guilt at the loss of her children -- so painful she says that she cannot bear to think of them. She has no family in Sierra Leone and could never survive there alone. She should be allowed to say in the UK with the few family members she has left.

Please write demanding that the Home Office drop its appeal and that Ms Claye be allowed to remain in the UK with people that love her and who can help her recover.

Ms Claye’s Home Office REF: C1325278 APPEAL NO: IA/09642/2013,

Email your letters to Theresa May Home Secretary or by post to 2 Marsham Street London

Send copies of your letter to us at and to MPs Harriet Harman & Simon Hughes who are helping Ms Claye and her family.


ii. Of the 927 sexual abuse cases reported in 2009, none resulted in conviction.

iii. Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.also protects the “right to private life”,specifically the “right to physical and psychological integrity”. This should have been raised to strengthen Ms Claye’s Article 8 claim. We have helped a number of women under Article 8 on the grounds that removing them would deny them support and . the “right to recover” from rape.

iv. This flouts Home Office “Gender Guidelines” which requires it to consider “the gender related aspects of the claim.”

v. The new Immigration Bill cuts the number of decisions that can be appealed from 17 to 4 and is premised on the claim that
immigrants make frivolous appeals.

vi. “ . . . a parliamentary answer reveals 11 high street shopping vouchers for £25 have been given out solely to presenting officers in asylum cases since July 2012 as a ‘one-off recognition of individual performance at court’.” Guardian 14 Jan 2014