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12.05.2022 / News /

Statement in support of Survivors’ Network

The Gender-based Violence Sector Workers branch of United Voices of the World stands in solidarity with Survivors’ Network; a sexual violence service who have been targeted under equalities law for their trans-inclusive approach.

Survivors’ Network is a feminist organisation who have 30 years of experience supporting survivors of gendered violence. Like many services across the country Suvivors’ Network supports trans and gender non-conforming survivors alongside cis survivors. This is, and always has been, a core part of gender-based violence work; exclusion and hostility only breeds more violence. We wholeheartedly trust Survivors’ Network to create safe and inclusive environments for survivors – after all, who knows the needs and requirements of survivors better than the experts who have supported them for many years?

This legal challenge is yet another example of a reactionary backlash which is seeking to entrench transphobia into law. These forces paint themselves as championing cis-women and survivors, yet they repeatedly ignore the expertise of the very frontline workers who work directly with survivors. Moreover this legal challenge, like many others that have come before it, sucks up valuable and vital resources that could be better used to create and deliver transformative and creative ways of supporting survivors of gender based violence.

Our union branch represents over 200 workers in the gender-based violence sector. It is our collective belief as practitioners that supporting trans survivors in our services is safe and moreover necessary. Trans people deserve access to support and as experts we are adept at creating safe spaces for people of all genders.

Moreover, the fight for gender affirmative healthcare and support for trans people is a fight radically wound up in other fights around bodily autonomy – namely that of reproductive justice and abortion rights. Justice for trans survivors and their safety is a feminist fight. We cannot fight the imperialist white supremacist heteropatriarchy that oppresses us all – and which is the root cause of gendered violence – without also fighting the reactionary transphobia that seeks to police people’s gender expression and bodies.

Gender-based Violence Sector Workers Branch of United Voices of the World

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