by Josephine Bartosch
Wednesday, 4
May 2022
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13:00

The Survivors’ Network succumbs to gender ideology

The group is failing to provide women with all-female spaces
by Josephine Bartosch
Women carry placards during the London Reclaim the Night! march. Credit: Getty

Sarah, a rape and childhood abuse survivor, never thought she would end up taking the organisation she turned to for help to court. Last year the mother of two attended group therapy organised by the Survivors’ Network, a Brighton-based charity offering support to victims of sexual violence, and initially found the sessions helpful.

But she was shocked when, at the fifth session, “someone who appeared to be a man” joined the group. This was in accordance with the Survivors’ Network’s policy of being open to ‘self-identifying’ women. When she complained Sarah was told “we do not police gender” and advised to seek support elsewhere. The Survivors’ Network is the only organisation of its kind in Sussex.

Fifty years ago, when women’s rights activists were scraping together the money and goodwill to build rape crisis centres, the idea that one day they would be publicly-funded probably seemed like an impossible dream. Last year Survivors’ Trust received £100,000 from government. But acceptance has come at a cost.

The form of feminism that has come to prominence within institutions like universities and charities has become increasingly divorced from the practical realities of women’s lives. The Survivors’ Network exemplifies this, providing jobs for a cadre of gender-addled professionals while losing sight of the needs of traumatised women.

The response to Sarah’s case has been polarised: some understand her to be taking a brave stand for women’s rights; others view her as attacking a vulnerable minority. University of Bristol legal academic Dr Yvette Russell has been particularly scathing, referring to the case on Twitter she commented, “I see the trans exclusive radical fascists are at it again, and there’s always a lawyer waiting in the wings to enable them.”

It is a testament to how deep this cultural divide runs that educated professionals who doubtless believe they have secured a place ‘on the right side of history’ are willing to call rape survivors like Sarah and her supporters ‘fascists.’ Sarah herself is adamant that she doesn’t “want to take away rights from anyone who identifies as trans” but simply “to make sure that there are services for women who need a female-only space.”

There are no signs of change within the Survivors’ Network. Last month the charity published an open letter criticising the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) for issuing guidance which suggested single-sex services were lawful.

Sarah feels bitterly let down:

The Survivors’ Network are so desperate to be trans-inclusive they don’t care if they exclude women. The messages on social media that the Survivors’ Network put out are shallow. They talk in buzzwords, with phrases like ‘intersectionality’ and ‘misogynoir’ that seem to have come straight from gender studies departments in universities, not practical experience of helping women who have suffered sexual violence.
- Sarah

On their website the Survivors’ Network boasts that it strives “to create an accepting, listening, safe, non-judgemental environment which seeks to validate and understand the survivors’ experiences.” But it seems clear: raped women who do not share their woke worldview should not expect support.

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Sorceress Eldamere
Sorceress Eldamere
18 days ago

This article has given me heart to file a complaint against the local sexual assault agency for telling me I had to accept men in my women’s sex assault survivor group. I had to leave the group and when I said on their FB page that men are not women, they blocked me.I used this article as well as the Women’s Declaration in my complaint. We are all in Hormone Hell.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
18 days ago

And you have the support of all decent men who are not blinded by ideology.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
17 days ago

Please do it. It needs women like you who are losing their rights to fight it I’m afraid, as you can exploit legal channels with good examples, and get precedents established that can then be used against those ignoring women’s rights.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
13 days ago

Non illegitimis carborendum est!

Neil Cheshire
Neil Cheshire
18 days ago

If biological ♂♂ attend women’s counselling and support groups for rape victims, what are their motives? Are they genuine victims of sexual trauma, sexual fantasists or do they have a morbid interest in the rape of women? Whatever the case, sexually traumatised women have an absolute right to ♂ free space in their support groups.

Last edited 17 days ago by Neil Cheshire
Judy Englander
Judy Englander
17 days ago
Reply to  Neil Cheshire

Very good point.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
18 days ago

Feminism has been appropriated by toxic men.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
18 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Sorry, is not Dr Yvette Russell not a woman? 

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
18 days ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Who knows these days?

Al M
Al M
17 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

My own observations, both day to day and what I see reported, are that many of the adherents, inquisitors and enforcers are women. I have no explanation for this, other than they are signalling membership of the ‘right opinions’ group and are unlikely to suffer any consequences of their opinions in their daily lives.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
17 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Woke ideology knows no sex or gender, the woke women are as bad as the men and may outnumber them.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
13 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Feminism has been appropriated by woke fascist scum.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
13 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Feminism has been appropriated by woke fascists.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
17 days ago

About 70 years ago, Eric Hoffer wrote that all great causes start as movements, turn into businesses, and end up as rackets.

So we now see Survivors Network followed that path. An important mission, but now just a grift for entitled professionals with no commitment to the original cause, and lots of money to be had.

Douglas H
Douglas H
15 days ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

Have you got the reference? It’s certainly not in The True Believer

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
17 days ago

Like all revolutions, the feminist revolution has ended up eating its children!