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Women's refuge that is trans inclusive loses funding because service to women focused and gay men not catered for!

(19 Posts)
stumbledin Sat 20-Feb-21 16:39:35

Perhaps no surprise, but following a procurement procedure, Rise that has been providing DV services for over 20 years has had its funding cut and services transferred to Victim Support and a Housing Association.

This in fact is a trend that has been happening for years. The idea that a generic support service is all that women escaping DV need, and HAs will go after any pot of money because there is no longer any direct funding for social housing.

As far as I know though, decisions have always been justified in terms of cost. But this report actually talks about the service being too focused on women and for example not having provision for gay or heterosexual men! (You might ask why the Council has never set up a service for men, rather than demand women should stop their service for women and cater to men.)

Apparently local councillors are quite shocked that this has happened as they assumed the procedure they had set in place would reward existing credible services that recognised the need and created services to meet that need..

If it wasn't so terrible you might want to laugh, as it is of course Brighton and Hove. What better example that being trans inclusive is in fact the trojan horse that the political system can then use to not give any status or additional ratings (in terms of procurement) to services by and for women.

Shame on Victim support for stabbing women in the back.

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OvaHere Sat 20-Feb-21 16:52:41

I saw a twitter thread about this earlier but I wasn't sure of the context

joystir59 Sat 20-Feb-21 16:56:18

Brighton and Hove has been going to hell in a trans inclusive handcart for 10 years.

ifIwerenotanandroid Sat 20-Feb-21 17:10:35

I read the article & am confused by it. What is meant in these two screenshots? If the original provider was trans-inclusive, what is it that trans people want that apparently wasn't provided? And what are they getting now, in this safe space, that they weren't getting before? Does the term 'safe space' refer to the entire provision for everybody, or is it a separate provision just for trans people?

I'm just trying to understand what's going on. I'd mention my 1970s Social Admin degree to justify my enquiry, but last time I did that, someone accused me of being 'a spotty-faced undergraduate', so I won't. grin

Significantown Sat 20-Feb-21 18:34:09

I think The Sun were campaigning about this kind of thing, saying that survivors need specialist support in refuges.

Andthenanothercupoftea Sat 20-Feb-21 19:24:35

I happen to have an insight into some of what went on here, I don't work for any of the orgs who bid for the services, but I had seen the specification and took an interest due to overlap with my work.

Interestingly more than one of the "large nationals" referred to was already involved in the delivery of the services and their elements (along with the rest of the system) actually received a bump in budget compared to previous years.

Unfortunately rise made themselves unpopular with commissioners for multiple reasons, including some rather serious safeguarding cases linked to poor information sharing.

Also the spec for the IDVA service required support for people regardless of gender (something that was part of the previous contract and something I'm sure we can all support) IDVA services are not generally place based, so the issue of men in women's spaces doesn't exist. The spec for the (separate) refuge provision did have a requirement to support transwomen with a view to this being in a separate location to the main women's provision.

I don't agree with transwomen in women's spaces, but that's not the issue here, it's an organisation upset it's lost funding and trying to find someone to blame.

stumbledin Sat 20-Feb-21 20:21:48

I think my intro has misled some. If you read any of the press coverage the issue is all the Councillors are holding their hands up in horror going how could such a wonderful women's project providing great services to women not have got the funding.

And yet they were the ones drawing up the procurement specifications and obviously placed no extra points on for instance a women's project providing services to women, or a gay man's project providing services to gay men, which is the underly basis of domestic violence provision. (Why haven't they after 25 years made sure that there was a service for men provided by men?)

So obviously a generic national organisation would out bid a local same sex / same sexuality service as no value would be given to the fact that the providers have something in common with the client group whether sex or sexualiy. And the Councillors have failed to recognise their role in this.

And yet these are the same councillors (I assume being Brighton) who have devalued and contravened the EA by saying trans women should be part of women's provision. So they may express shock, but in fact their assertion that TWAW is the trojan horse that has led to specialist services. (eg like the London council that took funding away from a refugee women's project and said the Salvation Army could provide just as good a service to refugee women.)

Criticising, or down marking Rise for not providing services to gay or heterosexual men is to totally misunderstand the basis on which services are offered and provided.

So what has happened is the enevitable conclusion of a thought process that some have chosen not to see - that the primary concept of DV provision is that the provider has a shared experience to those being provided for - because they are saying sex doesn't exist.

Just to add Rise have not blamed anybody. They have kept remarkably quiet.

Most of the fuss is from the Councillors who clearly dont understand either the service or their own politics and procurement procedure.

And from local women who are upset at the loss of service.

So unlike cupoftea who seems to think the way local and central government have been whittling away at the very basis on which DV srvices are provided, this is unfortunately the latest in a very long line of refuge services that have had the reason for their existence erased because some numbskull pen pusher has the slightest idea of what they are actually doing through apoint scoring system that is biased towards the patriarchal establishment and councillors who are great with spouting hot air but dont think of the consequences of what they spout.

Shame on Victim Support and yet another greedy HA.

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spongedog Sun 21-Feb-21 01:50:07

I've been following this on the local news channel. I have no vested interest so was interested to read @Andthenanothercupoftea take on this issue.

I would be interested to know @stumbledin what your vested interest is? Because Rise havent kept "remarkably quiet" - they were on the local news. I dont disagree with some of the points you make, but nobody so far on this thread disagrees with you that single sex spaces are key. And that trans-inclusive doesnt mean that women should be ignored.

Please keep posting and updating.

NiceGerbil Sun 21-Feb-21 04:35:54

I don't get it.

A women's inclusive of trans woman service lost a contract because they didn't cater to gay or straight men. Is that right?

These groups all have different needs. They can't be lumped together. It's well known in these services that men and women need different sorts of support.

One size does not fit all.

First women's shelters had to accept self ID to get the bid money.

That's not enough- they have to accept men as well?

I would suggest this is not a good model.

Women (often with children), gay men, trans woman and men, straight men have different concerns when they need to get away. Different needs.

One size does not fit all.

NiceGerbil Sun 21-Feb-21 04:36:49

It's not about being trans inclusive.

It's about men

MoleSmokes Sun 21-Feb-21 06:56:36


It's not about being trans inclusive.

It's about men

TMAN - but I agree, it sounds like it’s all about men.

stumbledin Tue 23-Feb-21 18:17:26

NiceGerbil - this is what is so idiotic about the councillors going oh thisis shocking how did this happen when they were the ones who drew up the bidding tender! (ie gender neutral means you erase the reality of the difference of sex)

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stumbledin Tue 23-Feb-21 18:20:11

spongedog - Rise may have been interviewed but they didn't set up the campaign web site or petition etc..

I dont have a "vested" interest. I have been involved in grass roots women's politics since the early 70s.

Everyday refuges are being closed by politicians who use all sorts of arguements to say they aren't needed.

And the latest weapon to use against women in the trans arguement.

Apparently they were going to go to court to challenge the decision but realised the cost was way beyond them.

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stumbledin Tue 23-Feb-21 18:26:10

I do have one "vested" interest and that in fact in Housing Associations.

Under Labour they were encouraged to goggle up the funding stream (ie housing benefit) that most refuges used to provide bed spaces.

This is because HAs have worked hand in glove to use HB to fund works ie they will take over run down housing stock, check with local HB maximum amoung to rent that would be covered and then make bids to do up the property based on the future revenue from rents.

Quite often these are short term housing and the beneficiary is the private landlord who gets their property done up at no cost to themselves.

That is why in one of the local papers articles where they talking about how everyone should know how wonderful the HA involved in apropriating this work came from guess who - other people in the housing sector.

I dont know which is worse that councillors are so ignorant as to what are the "industry" standards for refuges (ie WAFE) or that they think women's lives and believes are so irrelevant that they would of course defer to a mainstream organisation with no knowledge of women domestic violence survivors.

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stumbledin Tue 23-Feb-21 18:32:17

What's interesting is that some of the nationals are reporting on this.

On one level that may be just because of the Brighton slant and the sheer dumb stupidity of councillors not understanding the consequences of their personal politics.

So if mainstream media was really interested they would have reported of the many many refuges that have been closed by local councils over the years because (nothing to do with trans) most politicians genuinely do not under stand or acknowledge why a women only service might be needed.

Part of the problem is that WAFE who are effectively the group that coordinates standards etc., across the sector is rarely consulted because the media has always turned to Refuge (which isn't really feminists) as the source of news or comment.

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Igneococcus Wed 24-Feb-21 08:40:09

Times today:

Siablue Wed 24-Feb-21 09:03:22

So pleased to see this in the Times. Hopefully people will begin to see this as a pattern of defunding specialist services and there will be more fight back.

I do think this shows what this is all about. Not enough support for heterosexual men. It is a fight back against feminism. Who needs a refuge? People who are at risk of serious harm. Who gets murdered 3 women a week with a further 3 taking their own lives as a result of abuse. Then there are all the babies and children. It is rare for any men to die as a result of domestic abuse. Less than 3 a year. That doesn’t show an unmet need.

Ereshkigalangcleg Wed 24-Feb-21 10:19:05

From the Times:

A local authority briefing to councillors last week said: “A commissioned report found that contracted domestic abuse services are viewed as much more accessible to women and that onsite provision is women-only.

The EIAs [equalities impact assessments] highlighted the need for more support for both heterosexual and gay male survivors, and highlighted specific barriers to service experienced by the trans community, with trans survey respondents noting that the type of support they wanted was not available.

It's amazing how a painfully woke council falls back on EIAs where male people might be concerned, but don't seem to ever bother to examine impacts on women and girls.

stumbledin Thu 25-Feb-21 19:12:08

Update from local campaign and planned protest

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