Globe, Human Rights, Movement, Politiks, United Kingdom

African women fight back against rape

The popular interactive play from Women against rape will be back at the LUSH Human Rights Summit this February


  Marcella Via


According to psychologists, rape has been classified as the most intrusive traumatic event. Moreover, as reported by UNICEF, in times of conflict, rape has become a systemic weapon of war. This practice erodes communities, as women victims of rape are often ostracised by their families.

Additionally, during times of war, women suffer other violations including forced prostitution and human trafficking. In order to escape this reality, women who suffer such abuses try to find refuge in other countries as asylum seekers. Even though the 70% of women seeking asylum in the United Kingdom have suffered rape or other forms of sexual violence, domestic policy fails to provide women with the most basic protection.

Indeed, while the system obliges women who suffered sexual violence to report their story to male interviewers and translators, they are not provided with important information about their rights as asylum seekers in the United Kingdom.

Furthermore, during the interviews childcare is not provided and women have to go through their traumatic experience right in front of their children.

Faced with the lack of initiative taken by the Government to protect the rights of asylum seeker victims of sexual violence, women reunited and formed the “All African Women’s Group”. The group created in 2003 as a self-help initiative where over 60 women meet regularly to plan their campaigns and work on their cases collectively.

The main obstacle faced by the members of the groups is that their asylum claim has been denied. Because women are facing a vulnerable context with no support, they are speaking up against injustice.

Also, “All African women’s group” takes action with other organisations. Indeed, this year they will perform their interactive play “We are here because you are still there” together with “Black women’s rape action project” and “Women against rape”. The event will take place at LUSH Human Rights Summit on the 14th and 15th of February.

LUSH is a space where participants can engage in discussions, debates, activism and action from campaigners from all around the world.

The topics covered during the event include reversing climate change, forest protection, illegal hunting, indigenous rights and gender equality, to name few of them.

Based on the experience of the women from “All African women’s group”, “We are here because you are still there” is a play representing the injustices faced by asylum seekers victims of sexual violence during their asylum process.

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(Photos: Pixabay)

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