A message of Love

WAR is speaking at St James Church Piccadilly on Wed 15 Jan from 6-8pm at a public meeting called ‘A message of love (Luke 4:18): Why should we support Julian Assange?

Book seats here  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-message-of-love-luke-4-18-why-should-we-support-julian-assange-tickets-88112762645.

Venue: Church Hall, St James Church, 197 Piccadilly, W1J 9LL (access from Church Place).  Other speakers: Deepa Driver , Joanne Morrison, and Maxine Walker (Committee to Defend Julian Assange).  Followed by discussion.  Organised by Rebecca Francesca who is a congregant at St James Church.

Lisa Longstaff speaking at #FreetheTruth in defence of Julian Assange

Lisa Longstaff speaks for of Women Against Rape about the weaponising of sexual offenses allegations by governments intent on covering up their war crimes -including rape and torture. Full speech here with subtitles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2I2kfpa_T8&t=7s

This was an incredibly moving meeting organised by Deepa Driver, with powerful inspiring speakers including Craig Murray, Fidel Narvaez, John Pilger, Lissa K Johnson, Lowkey, Mark Curtis, UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer. London 28 Nov 2019

See excerpt from the speech here.

No Bad Women

Please note – all shows are now sold out

See this page for reviews, pics, info on our cast and history of the play and trial.

Some fabulous photos from the play by the renowned photographer Simon Annand:

REVIEWS:

Review 31: Because she was a prostitutereview by Frith Taylor

. . . The trial unfolds in what feels like real time; witnesses are examined and cross-examined, and we wait for the final verdict. Courtroom dramas are meant to be pacey and exciting, and resolve in a satisfying distribution of justice. But this play does things differently. We watch Patricia Whitfield and Elizabeth Harris in the stand answering questions, sometimes nervously, sometimes fiercely, trying to get the details right. When they are asked to describe the assault itself, the attacks are enacted as flashbacks. This interruption in generic convention results in scenes of almost unbearable tension. These parts are intensified by the play’s immersive staging.


Good Sex Bad Sex, Nov 6 podcast by MetroUK features No Bad Women – Rape on Trial

Lisa Longstaff from Women Against Rape talks to Bibi Lynch and Miranda Kane about the play. Listen: http://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/good-sex-bad-sex/rape-on-trial-7djpDqitOhX/


INTERVIEW-Sex workers denied justice over rapes, says UK prostitutes’ collective

by Sonia Elks | @SoniaElks | Thomson Reuters Foundation 5 November 2019 12:33 GMT

LONDON, Nov 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Police and prosecutors are becoming less willing to take action over rapes reported by sex workers, the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) said as a play highlighted their work to bring England’s first private rape prosecution.

Nearly 25 years on from the landmark 1995 trial, sex workers still struggle to obtain justice over rape and other attacks at work as they face scepticism from officials and fear of being prosecuted themselves, said ECP member Niki Adams.

“At some point it seemed that things were improving,” Adams told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Now feels that it is going backwards.”

The ECP estimates about two-thirds of sex workers have suffered some kind of violence.

Read full article http://news.trust.org/item/20191105120530-v6kp7/


Radio AVA podcast:


Interviews with Director Lesley Delmenico and Producer Lisa Longstaff, and excerpts from the play in rehearsal. Listen https://www.mixcloud.com/avaradio/oct-2019-p1-film-hustlers-twitter-clarsypatron-rant-online-escoring-sites-play-no-bad-women/ TC: 51:11- 1:23:05

Camden New Journal review by Clair Chapwell, 7 Nov 2019


Diva Review by Jane Fae


Vice Magazine by @emmaggarlandThe Legal System Failed Two Sex Workers – So They Took Their Rapist to Court

Lisa Longstaff of WAR referred to the context at the time of its Dossier of 15 other cases that should have been prosecuted, adding: “None of them were sex workers, but they were all women who didn’t have a high social status or were related to the attacker,” she explains. “Women who were under 16, women who were married to or partnered with their attacker, women of colour and women with insecure immigration status. You could just see there was prejudice against them, and the woman weren’t backed against the man who, in most cases, had a higher social status.”

Niki Adams of the English Collective of Prostitutes said: “Sex workers are usually only ever portrayed as poor victims, in order to justify the move to increase criminalisation in the name of saving us from ourselves and from violence, and this is a direct counter to that,” she says. “This is not two victims, this is two women who were victimised and who took their rapist to court – but it’s not a ‘happy hooker’ story either. It’s a real reflection of the reality of who goes into sex work, why, what happens to us, and how we struggle against those injustices.”

Read full article https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/ne8md8/sex-workers-first-private-prosecution-rape-uk


Bridget Galton’s preview, first two pages of Et Cetera arts section in The Hampstead & Highgate Express 31 Oct


A brief history of the play and the precedent legal case

Sold-out pilot shows in 2015 had great reviews: “Challenging . . . uncompromising, everything theatre should be.”  Tribune

A rape trial which makes legal history. It’s 1995. Two sex workers have been raped separately at knifepoint while visiting a client’s house in suburbia. One is a mum, a tattooed biker and former teacher; the other writes porn to support a disabled husband.

They report the attacks. Despite continuing threats, the Crown Prosecution Service closes the case claiming ‘insufficient evidence’ – sex workers won’t be believed by a jury.

Outraged but scared, the women come to the English Collective of Prostitutes and Women Against Rape. The groups assemble a legal team to take on the rapist and prevent him attacking other women.

This was the first ever private prosecution for rape in England and Wales. The play is a dramatisation of this bold and imaginative fight for justice, drawn from the trial transcript. But can women who do sex work win?

At Clean Break, 2 Patshull Rd, London NW5 2LB 7.30pm 1-14 Nov 2019.

Please donate to crowdfunding appeal: https://www.gofundme.com/f/no-bad-women


Cast (alphabetical order)

Duncan Hess – His Honour Judge Carson

Maria Lovelady – Patricia Whitfield

Erina Mashate – Police officer/Clerk/Jury Foreman

Stephanie Noblet – Elizabeth Harris

Christopher Poke – Mr Alloway

Jacob Trenerry – Stephen Donaldson, aka Terry

Toby Trimby – Jack Whitfield

Michael Tuffnell – Mr Murphy

Peter York – Paul Harris

Tweet by Sue Odell, casting director:

“Saw ‘No Bad Women’ @CleanBrk, Lesley Delmenico’s important & excellent dramatisation of an iconic 1992 rape trial produced by Lisa Longstaff @AgainstRape. Shout out to superb actors @MariaLovelady & Stephanie Noblet. Book tickets: http://nobadwomen.brownpapertickets.com @ProstitutesColl”

The Production Team

Lesley Delmenico – Writer/Director

Lisa Longstaff – Producer

Darius Gervinskas – Stage Manager

Arvid Zollinger – Lighting designer/operator


No Bad Women

Please help Women Against Rape and the English Collective of Prostitutes raise funds to stage a dramatic production of a rape trial where two sex workers took on their rapist in court.

Call for actors,(some roles with part time pay, others travel and food expenses), technitions, stage manager, general help. Auditions 17-19 Sept For character list and production details, contact Lisa at war@womenagainstrape.net.

Make a donation here Go Fund Me

View teaser from rehearsals in 2015, when the play was called ‘Pursuing Justice’. Please support this bold creative project. Publicise, donate, take part.

It’s 1995.  Two sex workers have been raped separately at knifepoint while visiting a client’s house in suburbia. They report it, but despite continuing threats, the Crown Prosecution Service closed the case claiming ‘insufficient evidence’.

Scared and outraged, the women came to the English Collective of Prostitutes and Women Against Rape. They assembled a legal team to take the rapist to court, and prevent attacks on more women.

This bold imaginative action was the first ever private prosecution for rape in England and Wales.

This play is the moving dramatisation of the trial, drawn from the transcript.

Tension builds towards the final verdict – will the women get protection and justice?

Sold-out pilot shows in 2015 had great reviews: “Challenging . . . uncompromising, everything theatre should be.”  Tribune

Call for actors,(some roles with part time pay, others travel and food expenses), technitions, stage manager, general help. Auditions 17-19 Sept For character list and production details, contact Lisa at war@womenagainstrape.net.

Why now?

The case established that every victim is entitled to justice. This principle was picked up by the #MeToo and TimesUp movements and accounts of rape and other violence poured out from women from all walks of life. A play that looks at who is classed as an “unreliable witness” and who a jury will believe is right on time.

Austerity cuts have targeted women. Rising poverty makes it harder for women to resist and escape exploitation and violence. More women, particularly mothers are going into sex work to feed their children. Yet, sex workers are deterred from reporting violence by the fear of arrest and for migrant workers, the fear of deportation.

When and where

1 to 14 November 2019 [except Sundays 3rd and 10th Nov], 7pm, Clean Break, 2 Patshull Rd, Kentish Town, London NW5 2LB.  

Wheelchair access. Sign-language interpreters at some shows.

Q&As with an original complainant, the cast and campaigners from ECP and WAR will follow six performances. 

Directed by renowned US writer-director, Lesley Delmenico.

To make it happen we need to raise a further £10,000

Your donations will help fund:

  • Nine actors
  • Costumes
  • Lighting and sound
  • Rehearsal space
  • Stage manager fees
  • Travel and expenses for 10 volunteers
  • Graphic design for marketing online and printing
  • Subsidised tickets for refugees, asylum seekers and unwaged people
  • Sign language interpreters

Make a donation here Go Fund Me

WAR’s 40th anniversary marked by Cambridge British History Sub-Committee

Cambridge University hosts a panel discussion in 2017 which marked 40 years since the founding of the group Women Against Rape (WAR). In these decades, WAR has campaigned consistently to combat rape culture and end the marital rape exemption in English law. Utilising a number of strikingly innovative methods, such as holding a ‘public trial’ of senior judges and politicians in Trafalgar Square in July 1977, WAR first caught the attention of the national press in the 1970s, but has only attracted the attention of historians within recent years. This year, Adrian Williamson published his article ‘The Law and the Politics of Marital Rape in England, 1945-1994’ in Women’s History Review, which was followed by a witness seminar on the subject, in which WAR representatives took part.

Though they have begun to be recognised as a group of significant historical interest, no concerted effort has been made to look at WAR in its own right. This event seeks to do just that. In particular, it aims to examine and discuss:

The emergence of WAR, and the group’s early years;
-The activism and methods of the group, from its establishment in 1976 to the present day;
-The emphasis which WAR placed on marriage (as an institution of rape), and to discuss the group’s engagement with the concept of marriage more broadly;
-Black Women’s Rape Action Project (BWRAP), with whom WAR still works, and of how WAR engaged with race. This event also marks BWRAP’s 25th anniversary;
-WAR’s current campaigns, activities, and the impact of austerity on their work.

This event will take the form of a panel discussion. Chaired by Dr Lucy Delap, the panel will boast activists past and present from WAR and BWRAP, the legal historian Adrian Williamson, and other experts in the field.

The event will be hosted by the University of Cambridge, generously supported by the MPhil Modern British History sub-committee, whom the organisers wish to thank, and will take place on Tuesday 7th February 2017 to coincide with Sexual Violence Awareness Week.

Read more Cambridge University event

International Women’s Day – Strike

Friday 8 March protest 12-2pm at Royal Courts of Justice WC2A 2LL:

We invite you to join and speak out at the International Women’s Strike event this Friday.

We’ll be highlighting sexual violence including:

-Putting the family court on trial for removing children from their mother after they report rape or domestic violence;
-Our campaign with the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union demanding an end to sexual harassment, zero hour contracts, starvation wages and benefit cuts;
-Putting the government on trial for detention, destitution and deportation of rape survivors seeking asylum.

More info here https://www.facebook.com/GlobalWomensStrike/
Tel: 020 7482 2496
Please share in your networks.
Twitter #IntWomenStrike2019

All women, children and non binary people welcome.

2.30: SOAS Cloisters – Decolonising Our Minds and Payday men’s network hosting the Strikers with food, exhibits, film screenings. SOAS University of London, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0XG. Everyone Welcome.

Support the Strikers this Thurs 4 Oct

This Thursday, 4 October, workers at McDonald’s, TGI Fridays and Wetherspoons are striking against low wages and slave working conditions: https://www.facebook.com/events/357347934806498/ In the US, the Fight for $15 campaign is taking strike action across the country in the hospitality industry. https://fightfor15.org/

BWRAP and WAR are joining actions wherever we are. Low wages, zero hour contracts and lack of other employment rights make women in particular vulnerable to sexual violence and workplace exploitation. Women have kids to feed, and when wages are low, and they may face sanctions and even the sack if they report abuse, it is really hard to complain or speak out about it. But workers have had enough and are organising together.

At McDonalds in the US on 18 September workers held co-ordinated strike/walkouts in many US cities, to publicly expose the systemic abuse. This includes groping, sexual demands and other abuse from colleagues and employers. Those who report it to managers are ignored or punished.

Over the past decade, legal actions by victims won substantial damages, and/or their local employer was often fined. But the company has evaded responsibility by blaming the local McDonalds franchise holder.  (Explanation and details on legal actions here: https://www.vox.com/2018/9/13/17855198/mcdonalds-strike-me-too)

When women workers came out in the US, they arrived wearing tape over their mouths with #MeToo written on it. Some of their placards read “I am not on the menu”.

Let’s show our support for the low-waged women who are striking – because their actions are in everyone’s interest.

#McStrike

Find a nearby action, or organise your own: https://waronwant.org/mcdonalds-respect-union-mcstrike-action. Please let us and others know what you are doing.