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News & Events

18 JUN 2014

TENI Launch New Report Which Documents Hate Crimes Against Transgender People

TODAY Wednesday 18th June TENI launched the STAD: Stop Transphobia and Discrimination Report.

The report is now available to download here.

The STAD report documents hate crimes against transgender people in Ireland and is the first report of its kind. It was launched today at the University of Limerick. A panel discussion, “Understanding Transphobic Hate Crime”, preceded the launch of this important report and addressed hate crimes and transphobia from a number of different angles. 

The STAD report was formally launched by Tom Lodge, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Limerick. 

 

Violence and Discrimination

Transgender people face elevated levels of violence and discrimination in Ireland. The STAD campaign documented 32 hate incidents, of which 15 were designated hate crimes. Eighty-eight percent of respondents experienced verbal abuse or insults, 28% experienced threats of violence, 19% experienced physical violence and 6% experienced sexual harassment. 

Speaking after the launch, TENI's Chief Executive Broden Giambrone said, "Trans people, like all Irish people, are striving to live authentic lives and to thrive in society. There is no doubt that Irish society is changing but the violence and discrimination the trans community faces must stop. To change the way that trans people are treated we need to understand the full extent of the problem and look for viable solutions. The STAD report holds a mirror up to Irish society and show us we must be better."

Any crime against a member of the trans community is crime against wider society

The panel also featured important and significant contributions from Karl Heller, Garda Superintendent, who said that, "I welcome the opportunity for An Garda Síochána to provide assistance to members of the trans community but I also am keenly aware that such transphobic acts cannot be addressed if we are not made aware. I would encourage all who experience such incidents to inform us by reporting such matters at a local Garda station, to a local LGBT liaison officer or to contact the National LGBT Liaison Officer in GRIDO, Garda Community Relations Bureau." He went on to say that, "any crime against a member of the trans community is crime against wider society."

These statements on behalf of the Gardaí have wide and welcome implications, particularly in light of the report's worrying finding that less than half of respondents reported transphobic crimes to the relevant authorities.

The Role of Hate Crime Legislation

Despite the experiences recorded in the STAD report, transgender people are not expressly protected under any equality or hate crime legislation in the Republic of Ireland. 

Jennifer Schweppe, co-director of the Hate and Hostility research group at the University of Limerick said, “Ireland is almost unique in western democracies in not having hate crime legislation. The country is coming under increasing pressure from external bodies such as the EU, the Council of Europe and other human rights organisations to introduce legislation which targets hate motivated violence. The absence of such legislation has led to a situation where we as a society have given a ‘permission to hate’.”

Relaunching the STAD Campaign for 2014

STAD Project Coordinator Ben Power outlined TENI's relaunch of the STAD campaign for 2014. "Our most important tool in collecting accurate data is awareness. People need to recognise transphobia for what it is and realise that it is always unacceptable. Every person has the right to walk down the street without fear of attack or abuse." Mr Power continued by saying, "The first step to finding solutions is reporting the problems. This is why we have relaunched the STAD campaign for 2014."

TENI are requesting that organisations and individuals share the report, and to share information about the STAD campaign in 2014. You can find details of this year's STAD campaign here.

For more information:

Please contact TENI on (01) 873 3575 or office@teni.ie

Broden Giambrone is available for interview and can be contacted at 087 135 9816.

About TENI:

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) seeks to improve conditions and advance the rights and equality of trans people and their families. 

www.teni.ie

Shortcut http://www.teni.ie/teni_launch_new_report_which_documents_hate_crimes_against_transgender_people

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