I am repelled by domestic violence.
When two people say they will love each other in sickness and health or live together, it obviously does not give one partner a licence to beat the shit out of the other.
The stats related to domestic violence (often abbreviated to DV) are appalling, with about one-third of all women suffering it in their working life. Over 90% of murdered women are killed by a man she often knows – invariably, their “partner.”
When I started as a trans rights activist, I always believed that as a trans woman, I should never ask women to give anything up for my inclusion.
Indeed I felt there might just be the odd time when I should be excluded. I think many trans women feel the same – especially those who have not had surgery. They would never, for example, feel comfortable having a shower with natal females.
This is sometimes known as the “Staniland Question,” named after a (dare I say obsessed?) lady who is convinced that trans women or men intend to shower with natal females once Self-ID comes about in relation to the Gender Recognition Act Reform. Just for now, Self-ID is a long way off, but for sure, one day, it will be enshrined in UK law.
Helen Staniland seems to forget the embarrassment caused to the non-natal female would be so extreme that no trans woman (who has often worked for years to become as close to a woman as possible) – would then “blow” every single chance of her acceptance by other women by having a shower with them. For sure, some trans women have had full SRS and look amazing, but for most of us, we would not pass the shower test though some of us may pass the everyday test.
Everything comes down to how well we present.
Domestic violence clearly affects women more than men or anyone in the LGBT+ community.
Whilst I appreciate trans women do get beaten up, this (I suspect) is more often to occur in a social setting such as a pub than in the home.
When I started to research DV last year, one website hit me as being more effective than any other – Rise UK.
Based in Brighton and serving local women, it was undeniable the team were mega professional with help pages that translated into ninety-six other languages!
Their reviews were terrific, website pages very clear, and they had a “quick close” feature so that any women using the site could vacate the site in an emergency.
Earlier this month, Rise UK was recently given the shocking news that they would be denied five million pounds of local government funding over the next seven years. In rough terms, this figure is about 45% of its revenue. From what I can understand, Rise is already in debt because of the surge in the use of their services, in part because of Covid.
The council concluded that because Rise focused on women, not men or trans women like myself, they would award the contract in regard to domestic violence support to a national victim support charity instead of a local one with a fantastic track record.
And to be honest, I am far from happy. Rise losing funding is a huge injustice and puts women at risk. They started an LGBT+ support group some 14 years ago and were pro-active.
From what I understand Rise had already responded to the council’s request to be even more inclusive, and let’s not forget they were already doing a fantastic job for over 90% of the users of their services.
And more to the point, I dont want women to suffer because of my inclusion – and just now in Brighton, that certainly appears to be the case.