Women seeking asylum after rape face ‘disbelief’

Women seeking asylum after surviving rape face an “uphill struggle” to establish their claims and are often treated with disbelief, campaigners say today.

Immigration judges at asylum tribunals do not follow their own gender guidance, which gives practical information to ensure victims have a fair hearing, according to a new report.

65 adjudications at asylum tribunals (appeals after claims are turned down) are examined in Misjudging Rape by the Black Women’s Rape Action Project and Women Against Rape.

“Most adjudicators take little account of the difficulties rape victims face to ‘prove’ their accounts are true,” states the report.

It says adjudicators “often make arbitrary decisions” about whether rapists are state agents such as police or soldiers, a crucial distinction when assessing asylum claims.

Misjudging Rape argues there is “little scrutiny” of adjudications.

The report is intended to publicise what rape survivors seeking asylum are entitled to. It offers practical support to women and the professionals working with them, which can be hard to source, says the Black Women’s Rape Action Project.


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