Police and Crime Commissioner Supports “It’s My Right” Transgender Youth Campaign (13 Oct 2015)

1Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner is supporting a campaign to raise awareness that young people have a right to be themselves.

The "It's My Right" campaign aims to ensure that young transgender people are able to challenge misconceptions and are aware of their rights. It will also serve as an information resource for people who work with and around young transgender people.

The campaign was created by Safe T (Strength Awareness Freedom and Empowerment for Transgender people), an organisation which works for and with transgender people to raise awareness of the issues faced by transgender people with the ultimate goal of reducing the suicide rate among the transgender community to zero.

A survey found that 48% of transgender people under 26 said they had attempted suicide, with 59% also saying they had considered doing so*. By comparison, about 6% of all 16- to 24-year-olds say they have attempted suicide**.

Safe T have focused on the subject of understanding and working with West Yorkshire's transgender young people to produce a "10 Top Tips for Working with Trans Youth" information card and they are also working on a short film. 

5000 of the cards have been printed and have been shared across Yorkshire schools and other youth related services.

The "It's My Right" Campaign was part funded by a grant from Mark's Safer Communities Fund which is financed by money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Alex from Safe T said "We've had an amazing response to the information card, the numbers of young Transgender people are rapidly increasing and this card has helped many people get an understanding of good practice"
"The young people involved in the project have grown in confidence and are now working together on their next project - an anti-bullying campaign. This could not have happened without the support from the safer communities fund/team".

Mark Burns-Williamson said "I was very pleased to lend my support and help to fund Safe T's project."

"The suicide rate among young transgender people is harrowing and we must all work together to address these issues."

"It is extremely important that everyone feels happy in themselves and able to lead the life they want and I would urge everyone to take a minute to read the 10 top tips."

The information card also includes details of a free online e-learning package for working with young gender variant people which was produced by GIRES - the Gender Identity Research and Education Society. The e-learning package can be accessed at http://gires.org.uk/caring-for-gender-nonconforming-young-people

You can find out more about Safe T and the "It's My Right" campaign at www.safetuk.org

* Figure obtained from the RaRE Study. The research was conducted by PACE, a mental health charity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, in partnership with Brunel University, the University of Worcester, and London South Bank University. It involved interviews and a survey of more than 2,000 people in England from 2010 to 2014. 

** Figure obtained from the Adult Psychiatry Morbidity Survey

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