About

Not Your Fault is a peer-led support group for all men (trans, cis, & otherwise) and all non-binary people (or any/no gender) who have experienced sexual violence.

We currently hold monthly meetings in Glasgow, UK,. We also have fortnightly meetings in Edinburgh, UK and fortnightly meetings online. Check our upcoming meeting dates.

This space is for anyone who feels that they will benefit from it. We welcome anyone who has been turned away from other services or doesn’t feel comfortable navigating them e.g. because they are too gendered. We also welcome women who don’t have access to other support services, especially trans women, sex workers, migrants, and women who can’t attend physical support services.

We started our irl meetings in London, UK in January 2017, and moved to Glasgow in February 2018. Our online meetings have been running since December 2017.

Meetings in Glasgow, UK

We meet at Category Is Books:
34 Allison Street, Glasgow, G42 8NN

This is a peer-led space for survivors to mutually support each other. While it is facilitated by one or two people, it is non-hierarchical and led by everyone present.

Our meetings last for 90 minutes. You can arrive and leave at any time throughout the meetings, and there is never any expectation that you discuss or disclose anything. You can share as much or as little as you like, and everything discussed at the meetings will be considered confidential. There is no need to RSVP; just come when you’re ready. Check our Upcoming Meetings page for exact dates.

Accessibility

We have exclusive use of the space. The bookshop and meeting space is level access (no steps) with double doors. There is no bathroom. There is at least 100cm between furniture items, so wheelchair users can move around easily. There are several types of seats: hard and soft, with and without arm rests. The environment is low-stimulation: the lighting is adjustable, we don’t play any music, and there are plenty of heavy blankets on hand. The shop has blackout curtains so we have total privacy.

We offer cups of tea and sit on sofas and chairs in the main meeting space; and we have exclusive use of the venue. For more about Category Is Books and the space, see their FAQs.

Travel fund

Attendance to the meetings is always free. If you need financial assistance, we will cover your travel costs (including taxis for anyone who is unable to safely use public transit). If you’d like to donate to our travel fund, you can do so here: paypal.me/notyourfault

Meetings in Edinburgh, UK

We meet fortnightly at The Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh:
17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh, EH7 5HA, UK

This is a peer-led space for survivors to mutually support each other. While it is facilitated by one or two people, it is non-hierarchical and led by everyone present.

Our meetings last for 90 minutes. You can arrive and leave at any time throughout the meetings, and there is never any expectation that you discuss or disclose anything. You can share as much or as little as you like, and everything discussed at the meetings will be considered confidential. There is no need to RSVP; just come when you’re ready. Check our Upcoming Meetings page for exact dates.

Accessibility

We have exclusive use of the space. The venue is on the ground floor with step-free access.

We are still getting full accessibility info for the space — thanks for bearing with us while we get all the details together for this new (to us) space.

Travel fund

Attendance to the meetings is always free. If you need financial assistance, we will cover your travel costs (including taxis for anyone who is unable to safely use public transit). If you’d like to donate to our travel fund, you can do so here: paypal.me/notyourfault

Meetings online

The online chat group is secret, private, and anonymous. We use hack.chat, which does not ask for any identifying information or email signup; all you need to do is pick a screen name.

The chats are text-only and last for 90 minutes, and you’re welcome to enter and leave at any point. You’re also welcome to lurk, and discuss as much or as little as you want. There is no expectation that you’ll share.

The chats are facilitated by us, but not necessarily “led” by us; every week is different, and the chats reflect the needs and interests of the people involved.

Contact us for the secret link, or ask a friend to get the link for you if you don’t want us to know that you’ve asked for it. The link will be different for every meeting.

Cyber-security & safety

hack.chat is great from a security standpoint, which is important for our users who need to be anonymous. Chat content is only viewable to the people in the chat room at the time the message is sent; so if you leave and come back, you won’t see any of the chat history. Chat history is not stored on any servers and is not retrievable.

Within the chat room itself, users only need to pick a screen name: hack.chat does not require any identifiable information to use (you will never be asked for your name, age, or email address). You can use a different screen name for each group meeting if they want.

Accessibility

hack.chat is a text-only messaging platform. It has some customizable coloring, but all options are light text on dark background. The font size is not adjustable.

Our focus has been on information security, which as a field is extremely inaccessible: to anyone with access needs, anyone with extra safety needs, and anyone who isn’t a cis white tech bro. Good information security does not excuse poor accessibility. We’re looking for alternatives with better accessibility, but haven’t yet found another platform which meets the safety needs of members.

Gender policy

Gender is a mess. Sexual violence affects people in differently gendered ways. Anyone who self-defines as a man or as non-binary is welcome in our group. We also welcome anyone else who has experienced sexual violence and can’t safely access other support, for example because of their trans, immigration, or sex worker status. Our focus is on men and non-binary people, but our priority is in supporting all survivors.

This means that our group is not necessarily an exclusively men-and-non-binary space. We welcome women who don’t have access to other support services, especially trans women, sex workers, migrants, and women who can’t attend physical support services.

We will not be policing anyone’s gender(s) and assume that anyone who attends is here because they feel like this group will be helpful to them. Femmes are welcome! We especially welcome anyone who feels unsafe/uncomfortable navigating “women and non-binary” spaces.

What does “peer-led” mean?

It means that—while we have experience in counseling, pastoral care, and accountability processes—we are not professional counselors or therapists. It also means that we operate the group with a non-hierarchical structure, with a focus on solidarity. We try to listen and support one another, rather than tell anyone what to do.

We believe in the power of survivors supporting other survivors. Group support is empowering because sharing your experiences & feelings validates the feelings of other people who have similar experiences.

Safe/r spaces notes

In order for this group to effectively support people, we aim to create as safe an environment as possible.

Your gender and experience of sexual violence will be unquestioned, believed, and taken as true/real. We will assume that if you’re participating in the group, it’s because you think the space will be useful to you.

Queerphobia, racism, misogyny, transphobia, ableism, classism, whorephobia, and other attacks on group members’ identities will not be tolerated. In practice, this means microaggressions will be challenged by a facilitator, and anyone acting on bad faith will be asked to leave.

We will never ask for any identifying information e.g. age, address, or immigration status. You’re welcome to introduce yourself with your name and pronouns, but both are optional and not expected.

Everything disclosed in the group will be treated as confidential.

If a group facilitator sees you outside the group setting, they will follow your lead on any interaction so as not to “out” you: they will never approach you first, and will never mention the group first.

Our group does not accommodate abusers, even if they too are survivors. We recognize the importance of support for people who cause harm, in order to interrupt cycles of abuse. We do not believe in a disposability culture or carceral justice. However, we have a very limited capacity and we intend to use all our resources to support survivors by providing a safe/r space which is free from abusers.

We understand that the communities we support are small, and we appreciate that this could cause stress if you want to engage with our group but have conflict with someone else who might also be in the group—or worse, if you worry that your abuser might be there. If this is a concern, please get in touch. We will handle the situation absolutely confidentially, with a focus on what you as a survivor need. We always prioritize the safety and needs of survivors over the needs of abusers, even when an abuser is also a survivor seeking our support.

Other notes

The only data we store is a first-name list of people who have asked to receive updates about future meetings. We will never share your details with other services, unless you explicitly ask us to. We’re happy to point you to other services; just ask. We will only contact you on channels which you’ve expressly said are safe you for you receive messages from us.

We will not suggest or pressure you to report anything to the police; though we will support you through any reports you choose to make.

We are sex worker friendly.

If you have any questions, please ask!

Funding

We’re entirely funded by crowdfunding and individual donations; if you’d like to support us in supporting survivors of sexual violence, sending us some cash is the most straightforward way! If you want to collaborate or support us in another way, please get in touch.