Changed articles of Yorkshire charity shines spotlight on sexual violence within relationships
Those traumatised by domestic violence will now be explicitly supported by Survive the Yorkshire charity that helps survivors of sexual trauma. Trustees, employees, and volunteers at the Survive’s virtual AGM in October 2020 voted overwhelmingly to amend their Articles to include survivors of domestic violence. The amendment is now subject to approval by the Charities Commission
Says Chief Executive Officer, Mags Godderidge: “This change does not alter our identity; we are still a sexual violence charity. However, in the last year we have seen a dramatic increase in those accessing our services who have experienced sexual violence within a relationship. It is nearly 30 years since rape within marriage was declared unlawful – yet we know that rape and sexual assault by a partner has been a reality for many of those who are counselled by the team at Survive.
“Simply put – compliant sex because of fear is not consensual sex. Being coerced into sexual activities you do not want to partake in is not consensual sex. By changing our Articles, we are making clear that our specialist support for survivors of rape or sexual abuse includes those, who have sadly been sexually traumatised by an intimate partner.”
Also, at the AGM, Survive appointed two new trustees: Bob Morgan, a former Metropolitan Police Inspector, and Amy Bullard, who works in women’s services in York and is founder of York Anti-Racist Collective (YARC).
Says Bob Morgan: “A constant theme through my police service, and now as a Samaritans listener and foster carer, is that there are vast numbers of survivors of sexual abuse who are largely ignored. I am very aware of the long lasting, life changing effect of something so many have suffered and about which little is known or even discussed. It needs to change.”
It was also announced that three trustees would step down who have been part of the charity for past five years. They are Janina Pirozek, Jenny Bell and Jo Dent. Thanks was expressed for their unstinting support as members of the Board of Trustees.
Recognition of the work conducted by Survive was highlighted. The charity started in 1990 by a group of women who came together to discuss the devastating impact child sexual abuse had on their lives.
Three decades later, Survive now supports adults, who have experienced sexual trauma, to rebuild their lives, relationships and reach their potential. Survive has continued to offer its specialist support online and over the telephone throughout the 2020 Covid-19 crisis.