A short statement from our Chief Executive, Karen Ingala Smith

A short statement from our Chief Executive, Karen Ingala Smith

Statement from nia

On 7 July 2021, Pink News released a piece which contains inaccuracies about me and about nia.

  • About nia

nia prioritises women, girls and children who have been subjected to sexual and domestic violence and abuse, including prostitution.

It is not correct that nia ‘specifically excludes transwomen’ from our services, as was stated by Pink News.

We utilise the single sex exemptions to ensure that our refuges, women’s centre and group work are women-only. This is lawful under Paragraph 27, Part 7, Schedule 3 of the Equality Act 2010.

A number of our services are commissioned to support women and men. In these cases, clients access services as individuals and do not meet other clients.  We have supported a number of people who identify as transgender through such services over the course of several years.

In cases where nia is contracted to support male victim-survivors, including those who are transgender, they will receive the same high standards of support and advocacy. All males and people who identify as transgender contacting the service are treated with respect and compassion, and will be needs assessed; where appropriate they will be referred or signposted to support services, for example the men’s helpline, Respect, Victim Support and/or Galop if they require or prefer support from specialist LGBT services.

In the year between April 2020 and March 2021, despite the COVID pandemic and two national lock-downs, our incredible all-woman staff team provided one-to-one support to 1,381 women, girls and children.  In addition, our East London Rape Crisis Information and Support Line supported 1,702 women and/or family/friends/agencies enquiring on behalf of victim-survivors of sexual violence by phone, email and video chat.  You can read more about this here.

If you would like to make a donation to support nia’s work, you can do so here https://www.paypal.com/uk/fundraiser/charity/114953

  • About me

In my politics and activism, I choose to prioritise women who have been subjected to men’s violence. I am not anti-trans. I simply know that women and men are different.

In June 2021, an Employment Appeal Tribunal on behalf of Maya Forstater found that this, as a belief, is covered under the protected belief characteristic within the meaning of the Equality Act; and that “statements of neutral fact” are not expressions of antipathy towards trans persons or transphobic.

My work on Counting Dead Women is done in my free time and is not part of my role at nia.

I have written here about why Counting Dead Women includes women only: Counting Dead Women is a project about women killed by men

I have written her about the killings of people who identify as transgender in the UK: Counting Dead Trans People

I have written here about the importance of women-only services for women suffering trauma after men’s violence: Trauma-Informed Services for Women Subjected to Men’s Violence Must be Single-Sex Services

This is a speech I delivered about the importance and delivery of single sex services for women subjected to men’s violence.

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