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Equality and Diversity Policy – Summary

CSASS aims:

  • To promote equality of opportunity and access
  • Not to discriminate or break the law
  • To value diversity, and recognise we make better decisions as a diverse group of people
  • To recognise many groups and individuals are disadvantaged
  • To remove barriers that prevent people from contributing
  • To welcome suggestions and feedback, especially from people with lived experience, and to take action to improve

CSASS will not not tolerate inappropriate, violent or abusive behaviour.  We expect everyone including clients, staff, volunteers and trustees to follow our Equality and Diversity policy and treat one another with dignity and respect. In particular we will:

  • take action if people within CSASS don’t follow this policy
  • make reasonable changes to help people access opportunities or services, whatever their needs
  • encourage representation on the Board of Trustees from under-represented groups
  • communicate in ways that everyone can access and understand
  • listen to people within under-represented communities
  • take all complaints under this policy seriously, following CSASS Complaints Policy

Our policy relates to protected characteristics:  Age, Disability, Race, Sex, Religion or culture, Marital status and civil partnership, Sexual orientation, Pregnancy and maternity, and Gender reassignment.

CSASS is a women-led, feminist organisation, working towards substantive equality for women and providing some women-only services and spaces.  CSASS provides services for survivors of any gender or none, including men, trans and non-binary survivors, aiming to ensure a broadly equal range of services available to all, over a reasonable time period.  Recruiting workers of all genders or none, including trans and non-binary workers is valuable, particularly within counselling team.

For some women survivors, in order to feel safe and confident their experience will be understood, it is important that the women they encounter at CSASS have lived their whole lives as women and girls.  To provide spaces and services for these survivors, some opportunities at CSASS are open only to women who have lived their whole lives as women and girls.  These currently include:

  • Counselling at our centre on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, including Monday evening
  • Delivery of supportline and LiveChat service – although this service is available for all to access
  • Occasional groupwork, advertised as women-only

Roles only open to women who have lived their whole lives as women and girls, include:

  • Supportline/LiveChat workers
  • All office staff: Centre Manager, Core Services Manager, Outreach Manager, Office Manager
  • A proportion of counsellors
  • Workers delivering relevant groupwork

CSASS cannot guarantee all women clients and workers have lived their whole lives as women and girls, and we do not ask individuals to disclose this.  

We respectfully ask all clients and workers not to seek to join a group, service or role advertised as women-only, if they have not lived their whole life as a woman or a girl, in order to respect the needs of some women survivors.