Being out in the Channel Islands for LGBTQ people is generally safer than many towns and cities in the UK. Overall, crime is lower with violence a rarity. However, there is always a greater risk of incident after dark. So, if you are coming to a Channel Islands Pride event, we want you to be safe. Liberate asked our Police LGBT liaison officer to provide us with some basic safety advice for LGBTQ islanders and visitors. Transwomen across the world are particularly vulnerable to physical and verbal attack so it is important to know where you can turn for help should you find you are the victim of bullying, harassment or violence (see our full guide with regards to any potential Trans protests below).
Important phone numbers
Emergency number: 999
Police headquarters main switchboard: 01534 612612 (Jersey) or 01481 725111 (Guernsey)
MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) for young people only: 01534 449213 (Jersey) or 01481 723182 (Guernsey)
You can find out more by following these links:
SOME PERSONAL SAFETY ADVICE FROM THE STATES OF JERSEY POLICE:
The States of Jersey & Guernsey Police are committed to building trust and confidence throughout the entire community. We treat all reports or concerns of harassment, assault and any hate crime related incident seriously and endeavour to assess all of these with a view to investigating and providing support to those affected.
Statute legislation may not yet be in place covering certain aspects, but we aim to learn, develop, educate and encourage equality across all members of Jersey’s community.
If you have ever been on the receiving end of someone’s verbal abuse or the victim of an assault, you will know it can have a significant and traumatic impact on day to day life and the way you feel about yourself, even more so if you feel there is no one there to help, or nothing that can be done.
If you are the victim of a verbal or physical assault or other aggressive act, consider the following steps:
- Try to write everything down as soon as you can: dates, times, place, people, descriptions, what was said and how it made you feel at the time. Even the smallest details can often be a big help.
- If other people have witnessed the incident and you are able to get their details, then do so. DO NOT PUT YOURSELF IN DANGER TO DO THIS.
- If you have been the victim of a physical or sexual assault, try not to change or wash your clothes or yourself, there can be evidence which may help when investigating any allegations.
- If you are injured, photograph your injuries as best you can before you clean them. DO NOT RISK YOUR OWN SAFETY OR HEALTH. ALWAYS SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE IF YOU NEED IT.
- If you are attacked, concentrate on getting yourself out of danger and then call 999. Even if you don’t want to support any later police investigation, your attackers may still be a danger to yourself or someone else.
Internet safety tips
The internet offers endless opportunities to meet new people from all over the world, but remember to use caution and try not to get caught out online. Here are some basic safety tips to help keep you safe online:
- DO NOT give out your personal details, photographs, or any other information that could be used to identify you, your family or where you live.
- DO NOT believe everything someone tells you online, they may not be what they seem.
- NEVER arrange to meet someone you’ve only ever spoken to online without telling a friend. Remember to give them as much information as you can about the person and place you are meeting.
Nowadays, everyone is texting, using Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites. Often this means our lives are on display for everyone to see and can leave you open to receiving abusive messages or having them posted about you. If this happens to you:
- DO keep the messages on your phone.
- DO print copies of anything on social media sites directed at you, showing who it is from.
- DO NOT respond, as tempting as it can be sometimes to respond to negative comments, refrain from reacting.
- BUT DO send a single response telling the person to stop contacting you, and that it is unwanted. KEEP this message.
- Consider changing your mobile number and only give out your new number to people you trust.
- Block the person on social media sites and limit your public profile.
- Report the person through social media outlets.
In the light of the recent anti-trans protest at Pride in London, and the current hostile atmosphere towards transgender people in the British media, we have taken the below advice (from Trans Pride 2018) as a reference guide on how to react if such an event happens at Channel Islands Pride 2018.
Firstly, and most importantly, your own safety is paramount! If at any time you feel uncomfortable, then speak to G4S security, the police or go to the main stage back area and see a committee member, and/or leave the area. Police officers and G4S will be monitoring from a distance – they will not enter unless a situation requiring their attention arises, in which case they may make the decision to enter.
In the event of a protest, we ask you to please observe the following key requests (an explanation of the importance of this follows):
§ DO NOT approach the protestors
§ DO NOT speak to the protestors
§ DO NOT look at the protestors
§ DO NOT throw anything at the protestors (obviously!)
§ DO NOT point at, or even acknowledge the existence of the protestors!
§ DO follow the instructions and guidance of the march stewards and security
§ DO consider filming the situation if you feel threatened, or feel others are being threatened
§ DO keep your distance from the protestors, particularly if you are a trans person – they are likely to try to attempt to provoke or make it look like you’ve approached them
We accept that some of this this may come across as extreme and tone-policing, however the anti-trans protestors have a clearly demonstrated desire to portray transgender people as violent and abusive – a characterisation we all know to be absurd, however their previous activities show this is a common tactic. They will attempt to obtain photography and video which portrays trans people (trans women and assigned-male-at-birth non-binary people in particular) as dangerous. At previous protests they have been observed attempting to photograph people’s crotch areas, obtain upskirt images, to goad people into reacting so that they can film and edit the response. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT!
Please remember that anything which helps them will harm the most vulnerable of our community first – trans women and transfeminine people of colour, sex workers, those who do not pass as cisgender.
*We do not have any specific threat or intelligence of any protests, and indeed we do not expect an anti-trans protest, however it makes sense to prepare. We have a plan for how to handle such protests which does not involve any engagement with the protestors and can be executed in a safe and peaceful manner. Your co-operation with these requests will assist us in executing the plan with minimal risk.