Over the last few days, members of the Conservative Party have used their platform at their Party Conference to undermine the rights, safety, and dignity of trans people in the UK.
Nothing that has been said constitutes a change in any statutory guidance or national legislation, but it does add to the ongoing negative rhetoric in public life around trans people.
This may have no imminent impact on how the state responds to trans and non-binary people, but this rhetoric is having an impact on the everyday harm done to trans and non-binary victims of abuse and violence.
We already hear from trans victims of abuse that their perpetrators, whether at home or in the street, are using what is being said by politicians and in the media as tools of that abuse against them. Perpetrators are using the sense that public life is becoming less welcoming of, and less safe for, trans people in the UK to further control and manipulate their trans victims.
We commend those providing welcoming, trans-inclusive support to victims of abuse and violence. We work with many of these services regularly – including NHS services and emergency accommodation. The narrative that this is impossible to do safely for all victims is untrue and is not grounded in practice.
A responsible Government aims to create a well-governed, safe, and welcoming environment for all its citizens. It should use its power and platform to challenge perpetration of abuse.
This week has not been a responsible use of the power and platform that the Conservative Party have as our Government.
If you’re LGBT+ and experiencing abuse, we’re here for you.