Anti-trans abuse against Aussies ‘escalating rapidly,’ report finds

Trans Justice Project director Jackie Turner
Image: Trans Justice Project

Victorian group the Trans Justice Project are calling for stronger laws after the largest survey of transgender and gender diverse Australians revealed widespread and “rapidly escalating” harassment, abuse and violence towards the community.

In the past 12 months, one in two trans Australians have experienced some form of hate, the report revealed. Moreover, fifteen percent of trans Aussies reported experiencing violence.

The Trans Justice Project and The Victorian Pride Lobby compiled the data from over 3,099 responses, including 1,309 trans people.

Warning: distressing content

Nine out of 10 respondents said they had seen hateful anti-trans messages or comments online in the past 12 months. One in two trans participants had experienced online anti-trans hate in the last 12 months.

Eight-five percent of participants reported an increase in online anti-trans hate in the past three years.

The survey was conducted in April, and researchers also found a “spike” in the months before anti-trans campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen’s national tour in March.

‘Harrowing’ accounts of anti-trans violence

Forty-seven percent of trans participants had also experienced in-person anti-trans abuse, harassment or vilification.

The survey found fifteen percent of trans people had experienced anti-trans violence in the last year.

Trans participants recounted physical assaults often involving spitting, grabbing, and punching.

One trans woman recounted an instance of an attacker beating her over the back of the head with a tree branch and breaking several ribs.

Another recounted how an assailant repeatedly tried to run her down with their car.

Moreover, many trans people recounted violence perpetrated by police at length.

Trans Justice Project director Jackie Turner said the results of the research were “harrowing”.

“Trans people deserve to thrive, to feel safe in our communities, and have the freedom to be ourselves,” she said.

“But right now our lives are under attack. The fuelling of hate by the anti-trans lobby has to be stopped.”

Turner called on federal and state governments to introduce anti-vilification laws to protect the community from the “rapidly escalating” hate.

“We know that the majority of Australians support trans and gender diverse people having the same rights and protections as everyone else. These attacks are largely coming from a very fringe, but very vocal group.”

Victorian Greens call out Labor for delaying vilification reform

Victorian Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes has said state reforms to anti-vilification laws will finally include protections for sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and HIV/AIDS status.

But she said the “incredibly complex” amendments would not go before parliament until 2024.

Austin Fabrey-Jenkins from the Victorian Pride Lobby said the Victorian Government needed to fast-track the reforms.

“Next year is too late. Anti-trans hate groups are more brazen than they have ever been before and our communities are bearing the impact,” Austin said.

“Our community events are being shut down because extremists are threatening the safety of our families and loved ones.

“We’ve been crying out for more support from the State Government on this issue for months. We hope that this report will be a wake up call.”

Victorian Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson Gabrielle de Vietri accused the state government of “kick[ing] the can down the road for far too long.”

“The Victorian Labor Government has known about the need to expand our anti-vilification laws for years now, but refused to act.

“We need to reform our anti-vilification laws as a matter of urgency, and the Greens are ready to act now.”

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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