Policies allowing a person who is biologically male to access women’s restrooms and locker rooms can create negative, unintended consequences, according to some sexual abuse survivors.
“The presence of a male of any variety, whether he’s somebody who identifies as a trans or not, whether he has deviant motives or not, that’s irrelevant to the reality that for survivors of sexual trauma to just turn around and to be exposed to that is an instant trigger,” Kaeley Triller, a sexual trauma survivor, said in a video created by Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative, Christian legal organization.
The video explains from a first-hand perspective how unintended victims are the consequence of open restroom and locker room policies in place at some companies like Target and in schools, such as in Fort Worth, Texas.
I think when people look at these policies and these regulations as they are coming up across the states, they have a real sense of compassion and that’s good and they form these ideas that they ought to really support these things and these measures because they think that it’s a compassionate thing to do. I think what they’re not considering, and what I’m hoping that they will, is that this has such devastating implications for people like me.
Alliance Defending Freedom published the video Monday on YouTube.
“People are afraid, and with good reason, because they’ve had experiences where they were in places where they were vulnerable and someone hurt them,” a woman named Autumn Bennett said in the video.
This year in Washington state, a man was reported to have undressed in front of girls in a women’s locker room.
“As long as the person says, ‘I identify as a woman,’ and they’re not doing something criminal like actually assaulting somebody, this rule gives them the legal right to be present,” Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, told The Washington Times in February.
Jaqueline Andrews, an individual who identifies as a transgender female, agreed with the others interviewed in the video that policies allowing a biological man in a women’s locker room is not a safe policy. “It’s a law that allows for any man to be able to say he’s a woman and access women’s spaces,” Andrews said in the video, adding about women:
In a time where so many sexual assaults go unreported, we’re telling them that their boundaries don’t matter. … I think it’s time that we care for women and children and that we care for the concerns of women and children and care for the safety of women and children. Passing this law is not the way to do it.
The Department of Justice threatened to file a civil rights lawsuit against the state of North Carolina in May for creating a law that made the restrooms in government facilities accessible based on the biological sex of an individual. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory pushed back Monday and filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice for government overreach. The Department of Justice then filed a lawsuit against North Carolina hours later.
Janine Simon, a sexual assault victim, shared her thoughts in the video.
“I’ve only been telling my personal story publicly for a few months,” Simon said. “I do it because I know there are so many kids out, there are so many kids out there already being abused. There’s so many kids out there that pedophiles, they’re just looking for a chance… We’ve just created a law that makes it easier for them to access their victims.”