Transphobic Laws Protect Zero: The Facts

CW: discussion of transphobia, the bathroom hysteria, rape and sexual assault (including against children) and the high rates of violence against trans people, especially trans WOC. If you are feeling vulnerable, you may want to avoid reading this post. Know that you are loved and there is no judgment here. In lieu of the traditional white space, here’s a nice picture of my cat when he was high as a kite after dumping open a bowl of catnip. That would be the green specks in the pic, he rolled all around in it.

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Hey, fellow cisgender people, let’s talk about the current “bathroom hysteria” going on in the good ol’ US of A. In case you’ve missed the brouhaha, the current claim is that laws restricting trans people to the bathroom matching the gender assigned to them at birth (usually) based on their genitals will protect people (read: cisgender women and children) from perverts (read: cisgender men) who might otherwise exploit laws protecting trans people wishing to pee and poop in peace in the restroom they wish to use. The idea is that if there are laws allowing trans women and girls to pee in the women’s restroom, these male cis-het pervs will use that law to allow them to claim to be trans women to get access to the women’s restroom where they will rape and otherwise sexually assault and harass the women and children who are in said restroom. Because, you know, these criminals care so much about following the law… Anywho. Let’s look at some facts and statistics about rape and sexual assault, both generally and specifically against trans people, and see how that measures up.

  • Fact: rape and sexual assault already happen.
  • Fact: We already have laws prohibiting rape and sexual assault.
  • Fact: People who rape and sexually assault other people DO NOT CARE what the law says or whether the law allows them to be in the restroom.
  • Fact: Cis women and children are at a far greater risk of rape and sexual assault from people we know than from strangers, including the mythical bathroom stalking strangers.

Transphobic laws restricting bathroom use don’t protect me or my daughters, so please stop trying to use us as your excuse for transphobia. And not only do anti-trans bathroom bills NOT protect us, they INCREASE the risk of assault for trans people, who already face an appallingly high rate of assault, especially trans WOC. Read that again, you read it right: laws like the one NC passed in the name of protecting cis women and children don’t do anything to protect me but they do increase the risk of harm coming to my friends who are trans.

So, let’s talk numbers.

According to RAINN: (https://rainn.org/statistics)

  • “Every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted. Each year, there are about 293,000 victims of sexual assault.
  • 68% of sexual assaults are not reported to police. 98% of rapists will never spend a day in jail or prison.
  • Approximately 4/5 assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. 47% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.”

[Esther’s note] While you were reading to this point, at least one American was probably sexually assaulted. Chances are high that it was someone they knew, not a stranger taking advantage of laws protecting trans people’s right to pee where they feel safest. Chances are also very high that the perp will not ever face jail time. And if they go to BYU, if the person who was just sexually assaulted in the time it took you to read this status reports their rape to the Title IX rep, they’ll get referred to the Honor Code Office for investigation against them and may very well face discipline (possibly expulsion) while the person who assaulted them may very well face… absolutely nothing. MAYBE a slap on the wrist. [/Esther’s Note]

Also according to Rainn: (https://rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims)

  • “93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.
  • 34.2% of attackers were family members.
  • 58.7% were acquaintances.
  • Only 7% of the perpetrators were strangers to the victim.
  • For 80% of juvenile victims, the perpetrator was a parent. 6% were other relatives. 4% were unmarried partners of a parent. 5% were “other” (from siblings to strangers).”

According to the Office for Victims of Crimes: (http://www.ovc.gov/pubs/forge/sexual_numbers.html)

  • “One in two transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives. Some reports estimate that transgender survivors may experience rates of sexual assault up to 66 percent, often coupled with physical assaults or abuse.”
  • “Sexual violence has been found to be even higher in some subpopulations within the transgender community, including transgender youth, transgender people of color, individuals living with disabilities, homeless individuals, and those who are involved in the sex trade.”
  • “In the NCAVP 2009 report on hate violence, 50 percent of people who died in violent hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people were transgender women; the other half were male, many of whom were gender non-conforming”
  • “In 2009, 53 percent of LGBTQ hate crime victims were people of color.Of the 22 anti-LGBTQ hate crime murders documented by NCAVP that year, 79 percent of the victims were people of color.As noted above, 50 percent (11 individuals) of the 2009 murders tracked were transgender women; of those, 9 were people of color (82 percent). Of the other 11 murders of gender non-conforming people, 5 (45 percent) were people of color.”

If you’re interested in the statistics on exactly how often places in the US have seen an increase in bathroom assaults due to laws offering trans people some very basic protections when they need to use the restroom, you’ll want to check out these two links.

Just in case anyone missed it, the idea that laws allowing trans people to pee where they feel safe/comfortable will be exploited by perverts who will use them to gain entrance to bathrooms to sexually assault people using the bathroom is made up. It’s a lie. It’s a myth. Narnia has more basis in reality than this mess.

It’s time to stop the transphobia. It’s time to stop the hate speech. It’s time to stop allowing ignorance and lies from politicians to be our justification for increasing the already high risk of violence faced by innocent people. If you really want to help fight against rape and sexual assault, contact your local rape crisis shelter, RAINN, etc. and find out how you can get involved. While you’re at it, educate yourself on the realities of rape and sexual assault against EVERYONE. But feeding into this bathroom hysteria? You’re not preventing rape or sexual assault or any kind of violence, and you aren’t protecting anyone. Quite the opposite: you’re part of the problem, and you’re helping make the world even more unsafe for trans people.

Do I worry about the safety of my children? Yes. Do I worry about whether they will end up being sexually assaulted? Yes. Unfortunately, statistics are not in our favor. So, the way I see it, I don’t have time to worry about protecting them from a made up threat, and I have ZERO interest in causing very real harm and damage to other innocent people in the process of trying to protect them from a threat that is, to put it mildly, total and complete doodoo.

More links to statistics about rape and sexual assault

 

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