UK: Rape crisis center’s transgender boss called for those who disagreed with gender ideology to be fired, says tribunal witness
01/23/2024 // News Editors // Views

A major rape crisis center in Scotland is alleged to have forced out a female councillor for her views on gender ideology following the appointment of a trans-identified male as the center’s CEO. Roz Adams, who has worked with vulnerable communities since 2003, alleges she was constructively dismissed after expressing disagreements over perspectives on safeguarding held by Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre CEO Mridul Wadhwa.

(Article republished from

Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre (ERCC) is one of Scotland’s largest and oldest resource centers for victims of sexual assault, having been established in 1978. In 2023, it received over £1.9 million in funding from various Scottish councils and government schemes. But three years ago, the organization began to attract international attention following the appointment of a trans-identified male to its top position. Wadhwa, a trans activist from India, was appointed CEO in 2021, a move that many found confusing due to the fact that the ERCC advertised the position as being only open to women.

One year after his appointment, Wadhwa came under fire for comments he made during a podcast interview in which he said that “bigoted” sex abuse victims who request female-only support should expect to be “challenged on their prejudices” and told to “reframe their trauma.”

But Wadhwa’s impact on policies at the ERCC is under the spotlight once again as the rape crisis center has been taken to an Employment Tribunal by a former employee alleging she was forced out of her job for criticizing views held by Wadhwa regarding biological sex. Roz Adams, who began her position at the ERCC in February 2021, has extensive experience as a Nonviolent Communication (NVC) facilitator, conducting training workshops that have been highly praised by participants.

In proceedings that began earlier this week, Adams, a former councillor, revealed the shocking extent of changes that had occurred following Wadhwa’s appointment. Evidence is scheduled to be heard in the Edinburgh Employment Tribunal from January 15 to 24.

An X account belonging to an individual who is attending the court proceedings and reporting live on comments made at the tribunal noted that witness Nicole Jones said there was “much talk of TERFs and transphobes” at the ERCC. The issue of whether or not CEO Wadhwa had a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) — a document required to legally alter one’s sex on identification records — was similarly labeled “transphobic.”

According to Jones, when Wadhwa was asked about how best to determine the political positions of new staff being hired, he bluntly instructed her to terminate employment of any personnel who did not subscribe to gender identity ideology, while adding that “firing could be as important as hiring when creating inclusive spaces.”

In another incident, Adams recounts an older female survivor reaching out for information on a group support session. The woman asked for a woman-only session, at which point ERCC responded that they were a “trans inclusive” organization.

After the woman asked for clarification on what that meant, ERCC then advised her she was unsuitable to use their resources. Adams says the woman was not referred elsewhere, nor was informed about the existence of Beira’s Place — a single-sex rape crisis resource service financially backed by Harry Potter creator JK Rowling.

Adams also recalls having been berated for writing “transwoman” instead of “trans woman” in an email, with Wadhwa accusing her of being “othering and oppressive” for not separating the two words.

Wadhwa has harshly condemned critics of gender ideology in recent years. In 2021, shortly after taking on the role as CEO of ERCC, Wadhwa referred to those who object to sex self-identification measures as “fascists who want to eliminate trans people.”

A Substack post published to comedy writer Graham Linehan’s blog in August 2021 lays out evidence which suggests financial motivations to Wadhwa’s activism, and accuses the CEO’s alleged partner, Arun Gopinath, of recouping a staggering £1.4 million in funding that was denied to three North Lanarkshire women’s aid groups based on their decision to remain single-sex service providers.

According to the evidence provided, Gopinath, who shares the same correspondence address as Wadhwa, was head of a community justice project called Sacro at the time the funding was pulled from the women’s aid groups. North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) instead gave the £1.4 million contract to Sacro, claiming the move would help male victims of sexual abuse.

Council officers said their decision was “informed by the findings of gaps in services with respect to specific groups including LGBT+ and BAME and also with respect to male victims.”

The debate surrounding gender ideology’s impact on rape crisis centers has been raging for a number of years, across multiple countries.

As previously reported by Reduxxa rape crisis shelter in Japan was refused funding after the founder, a survivor of sexual assault herself, was denounced as “transphobic.” Michiko Oriya of Tokyo’s Rape Crisis Center revealed that their funding first came under scrutiny after she spoke out in support of women-only spaces and expressed concern over the treatment of JK Rowling and Maya Forstater.

Canada’s Vancouver Rape Relief experienced similar difficulty in 2019 after refusing to allow biological men to use its services. Due to its strict woman-only mandate, VRR was defunded by the city of Vancouver.

In December of 2022, JK Rowling received widespread backlash from trans activists after she announced that she was funding a new resource center for female victims of sexual assault. Beira’s Place, a facility described as being women-led, provides support, advocacy, and information to girls and women aged 16 and over.

In an exclusive interview with columnist and women’s rights advocate Suzanne Moore about her new project, Rowling stated that she was driven by her own experience with sexual violence, and had noticed a gap in available resources to provide exclusively woman-centered care.

“As a survivor of sexual assault myself, I know how important it is that survivors have the option of women-centred and women-delivered care at such a vulnerable time,” Rowling said.

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