NEW REPORT SHOWS HIGH LEVELS OF ABUSE AND ASSAULT TOWARDS TRANS PEOPLE IN THE UK
Trans people are under such high rates of physical, sexual, and verbal attack that more than half feel less able to leave their home, says new research by LGBT+ anti-violence charity Galop.
As one respondent puts it:
“The fear is particularly prevalent when public figures – politicians, high profile newspaper columnists etc – demonise trans people in print or on air; it makes the fear more pronounced because you worry someone’s going to act on it.”
According to the report, in the last year alone, a quarter of trans people had experienced or been threatened with physical assault. Nearly one in five had experienced or been threatened with sexual assault.
Fewer than 15% of trans people reported these experiences to the police, with 70% of respondents feeling that the police could not help them. A third said they had experienced too many incidents to be able to report them all.
“One officer said I left myself open to being abused because I “chose to be different”… then told that the physical assault, death threats and threats of further violence against me weren’t strong enough to do anything about and maybe I should “go home, make a cup of tea, and dress ‘normally’”
said one respondent.
Trans people reported experiencing abuse from a wide range of perpetrators. Four in ten surveyed suffered abuse at the hands of family members, and the same proportion reported receiving abuse from other members of the LGBT+ community. More than half had received abuse from strangers, and 20% reported being targeted by a coordinated group. Half of the respondents had received abuse on the street, with three in ten targeted at work, and a quarter being victims of abuse in their own homes.
The impacts on the trans community documented in the report are stark. 70% of respondents said that transphobia had had an impact on their mental health, and almost half had self-harmed as a result of their experiences. As one trans person said in the study,
“Transphobia is everywhere on everything and there’s no escape, no safe space for me to feel safe and accepted. This just makes me feel low and worthless all the time and in fear of people knowing I’m trans.” As another put it, “I feel in a persistent state of battle”.
“LGBT+ hate crime is disproportionately on the rise in the UK, and this new report shows the reality of life, right now, for British trans people. As the whole LGBT+ community knows from our history, there are real-world consequences to public debates. Our new report shows how the safety and dignity of trans people is currently at risk.
It also shows that many trans people feel that the police are unable to help them, and often have poor experiences when they do report. Everyone facing hate crime has the right to report it if they choose to. Reporting helps to build a more accurate picture of hate crime in the UK. However, this is a right not a duty, and many people have valid reasons not to report. Galop is here to support all trans people experiencing transphobia, whether they choose to report to the police or not.”Leni Morris, Galop CEO
“Whilst the need for support and practical assistance to people facing transphobia is clear, accessible service provision for trans people facing hate crime is patchy or non-existent in most areas. Faced with this huge level of unmet need, we need leadership within communities, councils, government and police to recognise transphobia, challenge it, and provide specialist services for those targeted, in order that trans people can lead safe, happy and fulfilled lives that are free from abuse and violence.”Nick Antjoule, Head of Hate Crime Services at Galop
Galop is the LGBT+ anti-violence charity, providing support and advocacy for LGBT+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, and hate crime. Galop has a dedicated trans advocacy service which can offer confidential advice and support by telephone, email or face-to-face, as well as a dedicated service for young people.
Online incident report form: http://www.galop.org.uk/report/