I will change my Facebook status, Myspace headline and tweet the message : “Each year, 1 in 10 women in Britain experience rape or other violence – http://www.oneten.org.uk” but only if 5,000 other people will do the same.
Sign our pledge & donate your profile pic. Help the 1 in 10 women facing violence in Britain a year http://bitly.com/WUnHK
I Tweeted @AmnestyUK and asked:
Is that 1:10 statistic just for cis women, or does it include trans women too?
This was @AmnestyUK’s reply:
I believe it doesn’t include trans women, but will double-check and let you know. Full report: http://bitly.com/hmRXG
The link is to the Map of Gaps website – “a unique campaign by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the End Violence Against Women coalition which maps services for women who have experienced violence”. The site is silent about whether transsexual women are included in the research.
Four hours later and @AmnestyUK hadn’t replied. I Tweeted them again:
Disappointed you’re unable to confirm if trans women are included in your 1:10 campaign/report. Can only assume we’re not.
@AmnestyUK responded with two direct messages in quick succession, saying that the campaigns team had still not responded, and that the Map of Gaps report only relates to services for cis women.
And so, I wait to see if Amnesty UK’s “1 in 10” campaign includes transsexual women. But on the basis of this exchange so far, I can’t say I’m terribly optimistic.
My thoughts are now turning to the question of whether I can support an organisation which claims to be “taking action together for human rights” at the same time as it seems to be contributing to the erasure and invisibilisation of transsexual women in the critical area of violence against us.
ETA: @AmnestyUK has been back in touch and tells me that the coalition behind the Map of Gaps obtains its statistics from government crime surveys, which “only break down by gender” – in other words, they also assume that the default meaning of the word “woman” is “cis woman”.
I don’t know why this makes me feel so down – I can’t honestly say I wasn’t expecting something like that, after all.
Perhaps I was simply naive to expect an organisation purporting to work for human rights to care about the inclusivity of transsexual women in its work, ditto a government which would have us believe it’s committed to equality.
crawls back beneath stone