Charity says its trans-inclusive approach is made clear to all
A charity supporting rape victims is facing legal action from a service user who claims she felt threatened by the presence of a transgender woman.
The service user called Sarah says the case is about “women’s rights” stating that the charity could have offered separate groups for transgender women.
She said she felt threatened by the woman’s appearance at Survivors Network based in Brighton, whom she said was wearing male clothing and looked like a man.
Sarah’s claim is that the charity’s trans-inclusive approach has failed to meet the needs of all sexual violence victims.
She said: "I think women have sex-based rights and protections and these are under threat at the moment from trans activism.
"I don't trust men because I have been raped by a man. I've been sexually abused by men. And I just don't necessarily trust that men are always who they say they are," she said.
However, she says the person running the session asked her to speak to the group. "I felt manipulated and coerced into talking," she said. "When I left the session I had a panic attack, I was absolutely distraught."
Survivors' Network says it hasn’t received notice of legal action and has only heard of the impending case on social media.
However the charity says it makes clear that all women, including trans women, are welcome.
It added: "In both the assessment and in the handbook, it is explained that all women, including trans women, are welcome in the women's only group. The claimant was made aware of Survivors' Network trans-inclusive position prior to attending the group.
"Continuing to deliver our services supporting survivors of sexual violence and abuse is of paramount importance and we want to reassure all our current survivors and anyone seeking support that we are still here for them."