Leave this site

News | 01 September 2022

Updated statement on legal action against Survivors’ Network

Updated 1st September 2022

Survivors’ Network is a charity that has supported survivors of sexual violence and abuse for over 30 years. We support survivors of all ages and genders in Sussex and this includes Trans and Non-Binary people. We are committed to intersectionality, and trans-inclusive feminism is central to our ethos. Trans women are women and as such they are welcome into all of our women-only spaces and always have been.  

 On 20th July 2022, Survivors’ Network received legal papers in relation to action being taken against us in the Brighton County Court by one of our clients (the claimant).

“We are extremely saddened by this development, and we know that this might feel unsettling for survivors in Sussex. Please be assured that our services are here for you and will continue to be here for you, just as they have been since we started out over thirty years ago.” – Jay Breslaw, CEO, Survivors’ Network 

The most important thing for us is the continued delivery of our services supporting survivors of sexual violence and abuse, and we want to reassure all of our current survivors and anyone seeking support that we are still here for you. We offer a wide range of support to survivors of all ages and genders across Sussex, which includes therapy, support for people reporting crimes to the police, a helpline, peer support groups, therapeutic groups, trauma sensitive mindfulness, homeopathy, yoga, emotional support and specialist workers for minoritized communities. Please see our website for resources to access now and for further details of services to refer into.  

Background information: 

The claimant accessed our group work in 2021. She made a complaint to Survivors’ Network in September 2021 about the presence of another attendee in the group. At the end of the formal complaints process, the claimant felt that she was unable to continue accessing group work at Survivors’ Network.  

The claimant alleges that by recognising trans women as women and welcoming them into our women-only spaces this has led to breaches of the Equality Act 2010.  

We wholehearted disagree with these allegations and we will be vigorously defending them.  

We are being represented on a pro bono basis by a City of London law firm, Reed Smith, and two barristers, Antony White QC and Robin White.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please email info@survivorsnetwork.org.uk  

 You can read our  Trans Inclusion Statement here.