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 the States of Jersey’s 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.
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)
You can find out more by following these links:
SOME PERSONAL SAFETY ADVICE FROM THE STATES OF JERSEY POLICE:
The States of Jersey Police is 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.