ANTI DISCRIMINATORY STATEMENT
SOSRC’s empowerment ethos is informed by our understanding of sexual violence as both a cause and a consequence of inequality between the sexes and our recognition of the disproportionate impact this has on women and girls. Our holistic, wrap-around services are open to all eligible survivors of any form of sexual violence, and their supporters, and the services we offer will continue to be shaped by the recognition that patriarchy and misogyny damage all but the most powerful in society. The staff team are confident to challenge any prejudice and stereotypes which come up in their work with service users or with other agencies. In house and external training and peer support amongst colleagues all help staff members and trustees develop strategies for highlighting facts when faced with myths, especially but not only about sexual abuse and violence. SOSRC use data and insights to challenge victim blaming attitudes which make survivors’ lives more complex and difficult.
SOSRC promotes equality, diversity and inclusion as a core value and is an important part of what we do as a charity. SOSRC have worked from this perspective for four decades, developing a strong record of accomplishment in frontline service delivery, research, policy, and partnerships. SOSRC focus on delivering specialist sexual violence and abuse services from a feminist framework by acknowledging and addressing the multifaceted layers of discrimination that impact women and girls’ experiences.
This approach recognises that various intersecting identities such as class, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation significantly shape how women and girls experience sexual abuse and sexual violence.
SOSRC offers specialist services that consider these intersections, providing survivor-centred services that are sensitive to diverse local contexts and barriers faced by those who are marginalised in our local communities. Additionally, it involves institutional advocacy efforts aimed at challenging systemic inequalities and power structures that fail to recognise the impact of sexual violence against women and girls. By integrating a focus on prevention, trauma informed services and systemic change within a human rights / women’s rights framework.
The importance of the CEDAW Convention is its recognition of the “impact of State policies and institutions, and other behaviours of the State as having a disproportionate impact on women, particularly minoritised women, it adopts an intersectional legislative approach recognising that the root cause of inequality for women is patriarchy interlinked as it is with capitalism, ecocide, racism and colonisation”
SOSRC aims to create safer, more inclusive spaces for local women and girls who have been subjected to rape as a child or adult, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual domestic violence, and all other forms of sexual violence.
SOSRC’s very existence is due to the awareness of the multiple layers of vulnerability these interconnections lead to for sexual violence survivors. Service provision reflects our understanding that these vulnerabilities increase for those who are marginalised or minoritised. Information from our data and insights confirms that our service users are disproportionately made up of marginalised and minoritised survivors, and the way we deliver services is shaped by this.
SOSRC’s long presence and activism within our local communities has helped raise awareness of these issues and furnished us with experience and evidence which is useful in inducting staff and trustees and shaping service provision.
SOS Rape Crisis policy is not to provide support to people who disclose, or have been accused of or investigated for sexual or violent offences. However, in exceptional circumstances, the centre may decide to offer support to clients who fall into this category. Decisions on whether support will be offered will be made on a case-by-case basis, and will be at the discretion of the centre.