A female transgender prisoner has written to the UK parliament stating that during her time in prison she has been mistreated, sexually abused and is close to ending her own life.
The letter has been published as part of the evidence of the ongoing transgender enquiry, and raises some extremely serious concerns as to the treatment and safety of transgender people whilst in prison, not least because it was only a week ago that transgender inmate Vicky Thompson took her own life after being placed in an all-male facility.
The enquiry have chosen to withhold the name of the prisoner, and the facility they are currently in, but a spokesperson from the Women and Equalities Committee has confirmed that they ‘know the individuals identity and are certain that it’s from a genuine prisoner, not Vicky Thompson.’
The letter states that the prisoner is currently being held in an all-male facility despite being ‘legally female’. She also goes on to say that she has been the victim of rape, sexual assault and the deliberate withholding of hormones as part of her ongoing medical treatment. She makes it very clear that she is suicidal.
She goes on to write that she has been denied access to any means to effect transition, including female gendered clothing, make-up and hormone treatment. She says that because of this ‘my safety is constantly at risk’.
‘I’m legally female, the equality governor [name withheld] is constantly out to hurt me and states I’m a freak, there are no equality reps or LGBT reps. I have no access to help or other transgender people.’
‘I’m so close to ending my life. Now [name withheld] is so horrid, and even though I’ve been raped/sexually assaulted they put me on VP [vulnerable persons] sex offenders wing, they are mad here. I’ve gone through hell and have begged them to please move me to a female estate. If I had already been there I would not have been raped and assaulted, I’m so down and so alone.’
In response to the letter, and the concerns raised by the public for the safety of yet another transgender woman in an all-male prison, the Women and Equalities Committee had this to say, ‘While we are not able to take up individual cases, we take our responsibilities to witness very seriously and have out the individual in touch with people who can help her.’
‘The individual is in contact with a support orgnisation for trans people. The Minister for Justice is also aware of the case and the prison Governor has spoken to her about her evidence to our committee. We have also given the individual the details of her constituency MP’.