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.




We must end the detention of families

In the Media

The Guardian, Tuesday 18 May 2010  Letters

"We will end the detention of children for immigration purposes," says the new coalition government (Asylum children will be kept out of 'distressing' detention centres, 14 May). But what about their mothers?

Paediatricians and psychologists have testified to the mental and physical harm caused to children by detention. But separating them from their mother or primary carer is even worse; it may cause "insecurity, depression and anxiety" which lasts throughout life.

The recent six-week hunger strike by women in Yarl's Wood removal centre brought to public attention that many women detained inside are mothers whose children were taken by social services or other family members. Some face deportation and permanent separation, often after years of raising a family in the UK.

One mother tries to shield her seven-year-old daughter from the painful truth by telling her that she's "working away from home". She and many others speak constantly of their anguish at being unable to care for their children, many of whom may already be traumatised by violence in their home country, and experience depression, bed-wetting and fear.

An estimated 1.5 million youngsters suffer abuse each year in the United Kingdom, many of them while in care. This horrifying reality must not be added to by separating yet more children from the mothers who love them and whom they love. Ending the detention of children has to mean ending the detention of families.

Maria Ziwa All African Women's Group
Cristel Amiss Black Women's Rape Action Project
Oliver James Clinical child psychologist
Niki Adams Legal Action for Women
Frances Swaine Leigh Day and Co
Professor Sheila Kitzinger
John McDonnell MP
Dr Jonathan Fluxman
Kristina Brandemo Women Against Rape
Clare Sambrook End Child Detention Now
Rev Paul Nicolson, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust