Parents fear ‘spurious’ domestic abuse arrests over trans children

Schools and trans issues illo lead image
Schools and trans issues illo lead image

Parents of children who believe they are transgender have written to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) calling for a review of its guidance on gender identity amid fears it could lead to “spurious” charges of domestic abuse.

The Bayswater Support Group has also revealed that one parent has been arrested and others received police visits as officers struggle to balance parental rights with the demands of the transgender lobby.

The group, which counts 600 families of children with gender dysphoria among its members, claims CPS guidelines about how domestic abuse concerns “gender identity” and “trans and non-binary victims” were drawn up without “an understanding of the complex multifactorial nature” of the issues.

Their letter, seen by The Telegraph, lists possible scenarios in which families, already grappling with the challenges of teenagers wanting to undergo “gender reassignment”, could face police prosecution.

They fear a mother or father who refuses to use their child’s preferred pronoun and continues to use the first name they gave them instead of their new name could be prosecuted for domestic abuse.

Parents could have police visit for ‘sharing pre-transition’ images

Parents could even have a police visit for “sharing pre-transition” images of their son or daughter, a move tantamount to “deadnaming” them, a reference to identifying someone by their biological sex rather than the one they have transitioned to.

The letter adds that a parent could even be deemed to have domestically abused a child aged between 16 and 18 if they refused as their guardian to pay for medication or clothes or withheld money to pay for transitioning.

“Parents who have declined to use their child’s requested name or pronoun are not engaging in abusive behaviour,” the letter continues.

“Regardless of their offspring’s age, parents are entitled to act in a way that protects their son or daughter’s long-term welfare and may feel that affirming their cross-sex identity is not in their best interests.

“Parents also need to consider the well-being of their other children and should not be forced into a deception about a sibling’s sex by referring to them in a particular way.

“Similarly, a parent should not face accusations of abuse over sharing pre-transition images of their child, or for taking action to protect their child from medically transitioning, especially given the serious risk of a young person procuring hormones from unregulated sources.”

It adds: “Withholding money for transition or destroying medication may be a reasonable response to a very real and immediate threat…”

CPS accused of having been unduly influenced by powerful trans activist lobby

The letter comes just two weeks after the CPS was accused of having been unduly influenced by the powerful trans activist lobby.

A report published earlier this month by Policy Exchange claimed the CPS has been “captured” by the trans lobby after it appeared to back the idea that spouses should back any partners wishing to change sex.

However, the Bayswater Support Group has highlighted how CPS guidance could also affect parents of children struggling with their gender identity.

The letter says parents are “already undermined by false accusations of abusive conduct” by social services, schools and even GPs, many of which have embraced the gender fluid ideology, despite the NHS admitting that “not all adolescents will benefit from social translation.”

The group has called for the CPS to review its guidance and bring into line terminology - such as “gender identity” - which is not defined in UK law.

A spokeswoman for the group said: “Bayswater is pleased the CPS has acknowledged the need for greater clarity in its domestic abuse guidance. Parents of trans-identified children already frequently face false accusations of abuse and we look forward to seeing reviewed advice for prosecutors that does not undermine child safeguarding.”

A CPS spokesman said: “We are reviewing our prosecution guidance to ensure it helps prosecutors understand the lasting impact domestic abuse can have on victims and their families.

“Prosecutors should consider the wider context of patterns of behaviour, power, and control through physical and non-physical abuse when they are considering appropriate charges in line with the law. Our specialist prosecutors continue to work hard to achieve justice for victims.”

Case study:  ‘We felt an entire system was against us as parents’

Shortly after midnight as my family slept, two police officers knocked on the door of our home. Shortly afterwards, my husband was in handcuffs and being marched to the police station for questioning.

That night marked one of the darkest episodes during our ordeal as parents coping with a daughter confused about their sexual identity.

Nearly three years ago, Chloe (not her real name) began to disappear into the world of online gaming, a pursuit common to so many teenagers. We discovered that at the height of lockdown, she befriended a group of young people in chat rooms and gaming platforms who were questioning their gender; some claiming to be trans while others were considering the puberty blockers and then an op.

Initially Chloe, then just 13, believed she may be attracted to other girls. We accepted it - it could be a phase she was going through or her real sexual leanings.

Once lockdown was lifted, she returned to school and sought out similar people as those she had met online, becoming a regular at her school LGBTQ+ club. Then, she announced she was born the wrong sex and wanted to transition to a male.

What followed was a rollercoaster ride. We wanted to be supportive and to try to understand how she was feeling. But we were also eager to allow the passage of time to pass so she could know her own mind more as her brain develops.

But we felt an entire system was against us as parents. The GP said she had a right to be referred to a gender clinic, the teachers said she could choose what sex she wanted to be and social workers also towed the transgender narrative. We think our daughter was, like so many teenagers, rebelling against her parents. But, she was being reassured by institutions of the state that she was right and her parents were wrong. As parents who have nothing but her best interests at heart, we felt helpless.

That night, I tried to talk to her to explain that these things should not be rushed. But, we ended up arguing and I was in tears as we went to our separate bedrooms. When my husband came home from work and saw me crying he demanded my daughter look at me crying to see what this whole issue was doing to me and the family. At some point she returned to her online games and forums where she shared the fraught night with her friends. One of her friends, we think, called the police who then arrived at our home.

My husband spent a night in the cells, after the arresting officers said he needed to be separated from my daughter. She was told to visit friends that night and I was on my own. It was an unbelievable overreaction. The custody sergeant at the police station could not understand why my husband had been arrested. The next day he was released without charge.

Now, we have struck a deal with Chloe, now 15, who has agreed to stall any final decision until she is in her 20’s when the pressures and peers of her teenage years are behind her.

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