Mridul Wadhwa, SACRO and the £1.4 million contract

Shocking new developments in the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Scandal

Mridul Wadhwa is the trans-identified male CEO of Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre. As has been much reported, he made some deeply alarming comments when appearing on The Guilty Feminist podcast earlier this month.

We have reported on Mridul Wadhwa in the past, making the following points:

  • He has no GRC so is still legally male.

  • He lied about his sex to secure a job at Forth Valley Rape Crisis Centre.

  • He objected to an amendment allowing rape victims to choose the sex of the medical clinician examining them.

  • Pursuing political ambitions, he took a place on an SNP all-women shortlist.

  • He has demonstrated a shocking lack of knowledge regarding legislation that affects women’s services, a sector in which he’s worked for over a decade.

  • He is ‘disappointed’ by the single-sex provisions allowed for in the Equality Act 2010 and finds them ‘discriminatory’ against transwomen.

  • He sided with serial litigant and period-obsessed paedophile, Jonathan Yaniv, against a group of migrant women.

  • He seems to think it suitable to discuss whether rape victims experience orgasm.

If Wadhwa’s contempt for women wasn’t already apparent, his appearance on The Guilty “Feminist” Podcast made it perfectly clear. (For Women Scotland have compiled a transcript of the entire broadcast.) Denying that women who’ve suffered male violence need female-only spaces, he made this shocking statement:

Sexual violence happens to bigoted people as well… If you bring unacceptable beliefs that are discriminatory in nature, we will begin to work with you on your journey of recovery from trauma. But please also expect to be challenged on your prejudices… You have to reframe your trauma… To me, therapy is political”.

His horrifying statements were roundly condemned by women's service providers, mental health care professionals and rape survivors, prompting the hashtag #AskRapeCrisisScotland.

But their words fell on deaf ears; Rape Crisis Scotland didn’t want to know. They issued a statement trying to throw scorn on those protesting Wadhwa’s damaging comments rather than addressing the issues.

On Thursday Wadhwa issued a brief statement, claiming his words had been ‘taken out of context’ yet all he did was double down; “If what we see/hear from someone is clearly prejudiced and we are not responding to their urgent support need it is also part of our role to provide a space to explore and challenge this”.

And now it looks as if he is keen to spread his particular brand of men’s rights activism over the border.

Sheffield-based SAYiT is a charity focusing on LGBT+ young people and sexual health/HIV. It is hosting a free online event at which Wadhwa will be discussing ‘intersectional inclusion in rape crisis services’.

And there’s more…

Arun ‘he/him’ Gopinath is, according to some sources, Wadhwa’s partner/husband.

The pair are certainly very close and also joint directors of a transport company called Vahanomy Ltd.

According to information from Companies House, Wadhwa and Gopinath share the same correspondence address. Another website also shows them as sharing an address but this one differs from the address listed at Companies House and appears to be a domestic residence rather than business premises.

In February we reported on Monklands Women’s Aid having its funding withdrawn by North Lanarkshire Council after 40 years of providing specialist domestic abuse services to women and children.

The council awarded its new £1.4 million contract to an organisation called Sacro which is not a specialist in domestic violence nor local to the Lanarkshire area.

Council officers said that contracting a new service was ‘Informed by the findings of gaps in services with respect to specific groups including LGBT+’ and that Sacro ‘will better help male victims’.

Monklands was only one of three women’s sector services in Lanarkshire which lost out to Sacro after their funding was cut.

Well, you’ll never guess who was a director of Sacro until March this year…?

That’s right, Arun Gopinath.

So, to sum up, Mridul Wadhwa has spent well over a decade working in the women’s sector. In that time he’s actively pushed an agenda that allows males into what used to be female-only services, ostracising and denigrating the women who protest.

Meanwhile, his partner was, until a few months ago, the director of a company which hoovered up the lucrative million pound contracts when these women’s services were cut off from public funding because of their female-only policies.

Always follow the money.