LGBT History Month and Sexual Violence Awareness Week
As February begins, we begin LGBT History Month AND as its the first week of February, that means its Sexual Abuse Awareness Week – two important dates in the Survivors Manchester annual diary.
In recognition of these two moments, our CEO and our Chair have written their thoughts and renewing their collective commitment to Gay, Bi, Trans and Non-Binary survivors inclusivity at Survivors Manchester.
Founder and CEO, Duncan Craig OBE, wanted to say
“I’m extremely proud that as an organisation, Survivors Manchester opened its doors with a commitment to welcoming all male survivors, regardless of their sexual orientation and openly engaged in providing support and in discussion with gay, bi and trans men. As we grew and became more known across Greater Manchester, more boys and men began asking for our help and we began to better understand the needs of survivors and the nuances that different populations and identities of survivors need, in particular trans and non-binary people. Survivors Manchester’s mission is to ‘Break the silence of the sexual abuse, rape and sexual exploitation of boys and men in order to empower those affected to defeat the legacy of abuse and move towards positive futures’ and over time through dialogue and listening to survivors that we have begun to understand what our mission means for trans and non-binary people. I want to make sure that it is understood by these populations that we 100% welcome trans and non-binary survivors in to services regardless of their assigned gender at birth and stretch further to say that if a survivor in Greater Manchester feels this is a service for them then from me and my team, welcome to Survivors Manchester. However, I know we have more to do and I commit myself and my Management Teams time and effort into listening and understanding more in order to make adjustments in service but also develop our language of communication. I also commit to using my platforms to amplify the voices of LGBTQ+ survivors will be the best ally I can be. I and Survivors Manchester will be inclusive and learn from the past because a trans/non-binary individuals existence or right to exist is not up for debate. I hope that Survivors Manchester continues to be a great LGBTQ+ ally and if we’re not then tell us what we’re doing wrong, one can only know what one knows but we can learn together”
Our Chair of Trustees, Prof Craig Harris, said:
“LGBTQ+ History Month and Sexual Violence Awareness week are two vitally important issues for us and for me personally! The schools maybe currently closed but there are lessons to be learnt from the history of our LGBT+ community, the triumphs and of course the heart break. At Survivors Manchester we are very proud to be on the right side of history in our approach to equality and inclusivity in providing services to all those who need them regardless of sexual orientation. We stand together as allies with the trans community and those who identify non-binary. Gender should not be a barrier to doing the right thing and as an organisation we must continue to break the silence and help build back better together to secure a future that can be a history we are proud of in years to come. As Chair, I make a commitment to our continuing organisational learning; to reach out to our fellow survivor organisations across the Greater Manchester conurbation to ensure that we are working together to identify and close gaps; and engage in wider conversation with the trans and non-binary communities to learn and act. I make this commitment on behalf of my fellow trustees and the workforce as a whole”.
Of the survivors that engage with our services, approx 20% identify with gay, bi, trans or non-binary community and 3% of those individuals are from the trans community. Within Greater Manchester with such a diverse population and understanding sexual violence and the trans community, we collectively feel that engagement figure should be higher so we are actively reaching out to trans people and want to let them know in this, Sexual Violence Awareness Week… Your welcome here if you wish to come through the ‘door’ but take your time, there is no rush and that door will remain open for you at any point.
Should you wish to contact Survivors Manchester for support, email email@example.com or call us on 0161 236 2182