Black Women’s Rape Action Project (BWRAP) was founded in 1991. It focuses on getting justice for women of colour, bringing out the particular discrimination we face. and immigrant women who have survived rape, racist attacks and other violence. Many of us are current and former service users, mostly survivors of rape and child sexual abuse. It has prevented the deportation of many rape survivors. We are campaigning to:
end to the hostile environment, detention and the closure of all detention centres
end to deportation of vulnerable asylum seekers and their families;
ensure survivors to get protection and resources in order for them to escape and recover from rape and other violence.
expose and end sexism and racism women of colour face from the judicial system, the police, immigration services, benefit agencies, healthcare institutions and other professionals.
We raise the issue of rape, other sexual violence and racist attacks among grassroots groups and community organisations making visible and addressing the specific needs and experiences of Black and immigrant women including asylum seekers, break down the barriers between women from different nationalities and backgrounds, and empower women to speak out and get the resources and protection we are entitled to.
We help coordinate a daily rota of volunteers who give self-help support and information to rape survivors in detention centres and prisons.
Women Against Rape (WAR) is a grassroots multi-racial women’s group founded in 1976. Offers self-help support, legal advocacy and information to women who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Supports survivors when they seek protection from further attacks, are preparing for court; applying for compensation; or claiming asylum from rape.
We want official condemnation of sexual violence, including racist sexual assault and the abuse of power and authority. We have opposed sexism and other discrimination by the police, Crown Prosecution Service, barristers and judges.
Demands have included: that the police gather evidence with care and investigate thoroughly; and that the CPS prosecute rapists. We want an end to trashing of women and girls in court using their sexual history (which continues despite legislation), mental health and medical records, and social media history.
Our Refuge from Rape and Destitution campaign provides self-help support and tools as well as campaigning against the hostile environment inflicted on women seeking asylum from rape.
We have helped to establish that rape by a man the woman knows is just as criminal as rape by a stranger; in fact most victims know their attacker. Legal precedents won by our efforts include the recognition of rape in marriage as a crime in 1991 after a 15-year campaign. In 1995 we helped two women to bring the first private prosecution for rape. A 1998 legal precedent we helped win on asylum established that traumatised women may be “unable” rather than “unwilling” to report rape when it first happens.
We have helped women win thousands of pounds from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and campaign against discrimination against rape survivors in the decision-making process.