A Stonewall report claiming sexual abuse shelters would be unaffected by assisting men who identify as women has been fiercely attacked by a worker within the sector.
Writing anonymously for fear of being targeted by opponents, the woman said Stonewall could be guilty of duping the public.
Theresa May wants to make it easier to change legal sex, and a consultation on the contentious issue is ongoing.
The author described Stonewall’s document as “at best a disingenuous depiction” of the views of people working with abused women. At worst, she said, it could trick supporters and the public into believing that women who disagree with Stonewall “are wrongly misrepresenting female survivors of male violence”.
We are terrified of the extreme trans activists who will smear us personally, target our funders and compromise our already limited service provision.
“Stonewall have played a strong hand here. Whilst simultaneously silencing a sector they have now spun it round to claim to speak for us”.
The author describes herself as someone who works with people subjected to violence from men.
Explaining why she was writing anonymously on the Woman’s Place UK website, she said: “We are terrified of the extreme trans activists who will smear us personally, target our funders and compromise our already limited service provision”.
Stonewall’s report, “Supporting trans women in domestic and sexual violence services” claims to have conducted in-depth interviews with representatives of 15 organisations and that “many” said allowing men to access shelters would have “no relevance” to service delivery.
Every single one of them said they would leave. They can’t all be wrong about their own needs, surely?
The writer challenges this perspective citing her first-hand experience: “I was chatting to a refuge worker the other day. She said they asked all the women how they would feel about having a trans woman in the refuge. Every single one of them said they would leave. They can’t all be wrong about their own needs, surely?”
She added, “no matter how much you agree with the ideological stance that ‘trans women are women’ a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual violence may never see that trans woman as a woman.”
“Are we actually telling them to swallow their fears, their flash backs and their trauma in order to accommodate an ideology they don’t agree with whilst simultaneously calling them transphobic?”
She asked: “Should survivors really have to agree with an ideology, in a space that is meant to be reserved for them?”
Earlier this month a Canadian woman spoke of her distress at being required to share a bedroom in an abuse shelter with a man who identifies as a woman. She has now begun legal proceedings.
In July, the Prime Minister explained her approach on transsexualism: “I want to see a process that is more streamlined and de-medicalised – because being trans should never be treated as an illness.”
However, a recent YouGov survey showed that fewer than one in five think people should be allowed to legally change sex without a doctor’s approval.