The STAD report documents hate crimes against transgender people in Ireland, and it is the first report of its kind. It is to be launched at the University of Limerick, following on from the success of their Hate Crime Symposium in May of this year.
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. One participant reported: “[I’ve received] abusive phone calls making very violent threats and intentions. Such as, when they see me they will hang me from a tree with a live electric cable.” Unfortunately, less than half of the respondents reported these crimes to the Gardaí or PSNI. Speaking ahead of the launch, TENI’s Chief Executive Broden Giambrone said, “The STAD campaign is about awareness, education and change. We need our lawmakers and legal institutions to understand the realities of trans people’s lives and we need our police services to respect and protect us. This must include changes in policy and law and delivery of training to the Gardaí and PSNI. We’re optimistic that this report will hold a mirror up to Irish society and show us we must be better.” Amanda Haynes, co-director of the Hate and Hostility research group at the University of Limerick said, “TENI’s report evidences the targeting of transgender and gender variant persons and their subjection to harassment, violence and discrimination. International research shows that the impact of such hate crimes on victims is even more severe because of the hostility which motivates them and that there is a ripple effect felt across the whole community.”
The Role of Hate Crime Legislation
Despite these experiences, 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’.”