WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT BWRAP
The late Bernie Grant, MP “BWRAP’ took up the case of one of my constituents who was seeking asylum because she had been the victim of rape and violence in her country of origin. Like many other rape survivors, she found talking about her experience extremely painful. The extent of her ordeal emerged with the assistance of BWRAP . . . It is often underestimated how much Black women’s organisations do for the Black Community. Yet such organisations suffer particular problems in gaining the funding they need to continue their work. Their work in bringing the issue of rape to the attention of Black and refugee communities is also crucial.” 14 October 1996.
Daniel Wilsher former solicitor for Powell & Company Solicitors “The Immigration Authorities benefit enormously from BWRAPs involvement in asylum work because they are then able to make fully informed decisions which have the benefit of all the necessary information. The authorities themselves just do not have the specialised skills and resources to uncover all the facts. BWRAP therefore fulfil an important role in he protection of women asylum seekers and the refugee status process."
30 March 1999
Lynn Carter, Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund, “It is very clear that the support BWRAP offers is crucial for women who have not only experienced the horror of rape itself, but may have also witnessed the murder of family members at the same time before having to flee their countries leaving children and loved one behind. Once in the UK in exile, further problems arise when the women have to then try to settle in a strange land, with no resources and no support. My colleagues and I have also appreciated the specialist help and advice which we have received from BWRAP [who] helped us with issues that we were not equipped to deal with ourselves.” 4 June 2003.
Mario Marin and Henry Wood, Migrants Resource Centre “We are extremely indebted for the invaluable help and highly experienced advice from BWRAP for all aspects of assisting and supporting the asylum claim of our clients, and reopening this after their case suffered considerably from poor representation. Women are especially at risk of unfair removals and at risk of being returned to face renewed persecution and further human rights abuses in the present atmosphere of inhospitality as removal dates are escalating in the UK. The work and lobbying of BWRAP is essential to address the serious imbalance." 6 July 2006.
Shamik Dutta, Fisher Meredith, Solicitors “Were it not for the work of BWRAP I have no doubt that many women would have been returned to their countries they fled and denied access to legal advice, advice which has subsequently helped them to ensure that the Home Office and police are held accountable. Such support has made it possible for them to pursue resources and obtain compensation . . . my heartfelt thanks to all at BWRAP who have been of such great assistance to my clients and the other women the team has gone out of its way to support.” 2 April 2008.
Services users . . .
- “The holistic support you provide is “priceless.”
“you are the most understanding, compassionate, easy to talk to, loving and caring people I know.”
- “I didn’t know where to start or who to go to until I came here”,
“I stood up for myself after being bullied for years by my violent husband because of the support I get from you”.
- “Volunteering has opened up my abilities in being able to do certain things on my own . . . being an immigrant in the UK, it is not uncommon for mothers like me who win the right to stay to face challenges in integrating within society and getting access to social services and welfare etc. Through volunteering and self help sessions, I have learned to stand up for myself and be able to challenge any obstacles which I was never able to do before . . . Most of all, as a woman with a history of depression, being alone and isolated was not doing much to improve on my health . . . When I started volunteering, I was amazed at how happy I felt through meeting other people . . . this interaction has tremendously contributed to my recovery . . being able to help someone else through their own problems . . . feels like a great achievement for me at the end of the day.
“I am a single mother of one child and an immigrant from Jamaica. . . Before I became a volunteer with BWRAP, I had low self-esteem . . . and often felt lost with no purpose or self-worth. As a rape victim, I had difficulties bonding with my son when he was a baby. By volunteering and using the services provided by BWRAP I was able to improve my relationship with my son and regain confidence in myself as an individual and as a mother. . . I cannot seem to get enough of the warm kindred spirit which permeates among the women in the centre. I come to the centre and at the end of the day, I leave feeling a sense of accomplishment.”
Medical professionals . . .
- “Your work with rape survivors is invaluable and inspiring.”
“One of my patients said she was ready to give up but that “meeting BWRAP had saved her life”
Solicitors . . .
- “I am aware of the emotional support which BWRAP has provided (and continues to provide) to a number of traumatised clients, who experience serious forms of gender-based and sexual violence, has been pivotal in providing a much needed source of trust and stability for these individuals whilst facing truly precarious circumstances as well as substantial uncertainties over the future.”
“Thank you so much, this is excellent. It is a really strong letter”.