WASHINGTON—End Rape on Campus (EROC) denounces the Trump administration’s disregard for gender identity when incarcerating transgender people, exposing folks to more sexual violence. These protections were aimed at reducing harassment, abuse, sexual assault, and rape that transgender people regularly experience in alarming rates while in prisons and jails.
“This administration continues to neglect the needs of already vulnerable populations,” said Jess Davidson, EROC’s Executive Director.
According to a 2014 Bureau of Justice Statistics report, 40% of transgender people in prison reported being sexually assaulted or abused between 2011 and 2012. The 2015 US Transgender Survey found that transgender people were five times more likely to be sexually assaulted by facility staff than non-transgender people in jails and prisons, and transgender people were over nine times more likely to be sexually assaulted by other inmates. Lambda Legal’s 2012 survey of transgender prisoners, Protected and Served, found that 57% of respondents reported being verbally assaulted or harassed and 12% reported being physically assaulted by staff in the previous five years. In all cases where the race of participants was considered, these rates were dramatically higher for transgender people of color.
“The Trump administration is trying to erase transgender people off the face of this earth,” added Catalina Velasquez, EROC’s Communications Director, and a transgender woman herself. “From reinterpreting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX so that they exclude transgender people from any protections against discrimination to a deportation agenda that targets transgender immigrants, the Trump Administration is treating us as less than human and undermining the purpose of the Prison Rape Elimination Act.”