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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Rape Crisis Centre placed under review following employment tribunal

 

Services at the Edinburgh charity will remain unaffected. 

Rape Crisis Scotland has commissioned an independent review into practices and procedures at one of its member centres following the outcome of an employment tribunal. 

The charity has said work at Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre (ERCC) will be looked into after a tribunal suggested some practices at the centre may have fallen short of the expected standards. 

The tribunal ruled in favour of Roz Adams, a former staff member at ERCC, who won her claim for constructive dismissal. 

The judgement stated that Ms Adams was unfairly constructively dismissed for believing that those using the service should be able to know the sex of staff, and that the centre unlawfully discriminated against the worker. 

Following the judgement, Ms Adams said: “This is a victory for all people who have been subjected to sexual violence who need a choice of worker and group support on the basis of sex in order to feel safe.

“For me, it validates and makes worthwhile three years of struggle. I hope the Scottish government, charity regulator OSCR, Rape Crisis Scotland and all those in the sector feel emboldened by this judgment to safeguard this important choice for survivors, as part of ensuring services are welcoming.”

In a statement, Rape Crisis Scotland said: “As a national organisation working to end sexual violence, the needs of survivors are our priority.

“Rape Crisis Scotland works with a network of 17 member Rape Crisis Centres across Scotland. Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre is an autonomous member centre and as such, Rape Crisis Scotland was not involved in any of the circumstances that led to the tribunal.

“All member Rape Crisis Centres are signed up to working within UK-wide National Service Standards. These standards detail the high quality of service every survivor can expect to receive from a Rape Crisis Centre. Membership of Rape Crisis Scotland is based upon a shared commitment to, and evidencing of, the UK-wide Rape Crisis National Service Standards.

“We have been concerned by some of the evidence arising from the tribunal suggesting that some practices at ERCC may have fallen short of these standards. An independent review into the practices and procedures at Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre has been commissioned.

“We want to reassure survivors that their needs will be listened to and respected when they come to a Rape Crisis Centre for support, or for advocacy services. We recognise that the tribunal judgment will raise questions for some survivors about what they can expect when they come to a Rape Crisis Centre. We believe it is important that survivors are able to make informed choices about the services they access at Rape Crisis Centres, and we recognise that for some this includes choices about the gender and/or sex of their worker. 

“We will be working with rape crisis centres across Scotland to consider the judgment and anything further we need to do to ensure survivors are able to access the services they need after being raped or sexually abused.

“We are committed to ensuring that every survivor of sexual violence can receive support in a way which meets their specific needs, including the provision of dedicated times and spaces for women and girls to access Rape Crisis services across Scotland, and to providing support to anyone affected by sexual violence, including survivors who are trans or non-binary.”

The commissioning of the independent review was welcomed by ERCC. 

The charity’s board said in a statement: “We are saddened by the outcome of the Tribunal. We will now take time to reflect on the written judgement.

“We strive to provide a safe, accessible and inclusive service and are committed to improving continuously.

“We are fully supportive of Rape Crisis Scotland’s commissioning of an independent review of ERCC practice. This will help ensure our practices and procedures meet the highest standards as set out in the Rape Crisis National Service Standards, and that survivors receive the exceptional quality of support they deserve.

“We want to reassure all survivors who are currently accessing our services and anyone seeking support that we are still here for you, and you matter to us. Our services remain unaffected by these events.”

 

Comments

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Trans positive and Sex Realist
24 days ago

The person running this service should resign, in fact they never have been given the job in the first place. The Board of Trustees should hang their heads in shame.