For Immediate Release
April 3, 2023
2700 N. Central Ave, Suite 1100
Phoenix, AZ 85004
602-279-2900 / 1-800-782-6400
AZ COALITION TO END SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESPONDS TO INCREASED ANTI-TRANS LEGISLATION AT ARIZONA CAPITOL
PHOENIX, April 3, 2023 – Arizona has seen an extreme increase in anti-transgender legislation introduced at the Arizona Capitol this legislative session. While Arizona is trending alongside other states in this manner, ACESDV cannot stand by while trans Arizonans are the focus of hate and discrimination at the legislature.
The culture around gender identity and expression in the US focuses on a binary view of gender (masculine or feminine) and is a societal construct. How we communicate our gender identity to others is our gender expression, and everyone expresses their gender differently. By increasing oppression of trans people, this creates a culture in which violence against trans people is acceptable. In order to end sexual and domestic violence against trans people, we must create an environment that respects differences in gender identities, sexual orientation, and expression.
There are many myths of transgender people circulating, including falsehoods about victimizing children. Numerous studies have concluded that trans people are much more likely to be a victim of violence, than to inflict violence on another person. Trans Americans are four times more likely to be victims of a violent crime than their cisgender peers. This is egregious and shifts reality as children are most likely to be victimized by a friend or family – placing them at risk of harm if we ignore the danger for the falsehood.
ACESDV is concerned about the impact of harmful anti-trans on trans youth. The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ suicide prevention hotline and group, conducted a 2022 survey that found 86 percent of trans or nonbinary youth reported negative effects on their mental health stemming from the political debate around trans issues and nearly half had seriously considered suicide within the past year. Trans youth’s lives are on the line while legislators try to remove protections, options, and safety for trans people in our communities.
This year in Arizona, 11 harmful anti-trans pieces of legislation were introduced at the Arizona Capitol. These bills focus on removing healthcare options for trans folks, removing pronoun options for non-binary individuals on various important documents, and criminalizing drag performances. We implore legislators to focus on real issues in Arizona such as housing affordability, services for victims of crime, and gun violence.
As Jenna Panas, CEO of ACESDV, emphatically states “Rather than focusing on increasing violence against trans people, there are real issues facing survivors of sexual and domestic violence in Arizona. Housing, the economy, increases in gun violence, and catastrophic VOCA budget cuts are missing from the conversation and focus at the legislature. We call upon our legislators to listen to the community to ensure we are able to live free and authentic lives without state sanctioned discrimination against our trans community.”
About the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV) works to dismantle oppression and promote equity among all people, focusing on increasing public awareness about sexual and domestic violence and enhancing safety and services for survivors. ACESDV was originally founded as the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 1980, so that concerned citizens and professionals could unite in a statewide organization to end domestic violence. In 2013, the coalition became the designated dual coalition to address both sexual and domestic violence in Arizona, thus becoming the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. ACESDV provides training and technical assistance to responders, service providers, and community members, engages in public policy advocacy and public awareness initiatives, and provides direct services through the Arizona Sexual and Domestic Violence Helpline and online chat. To learn more visit www.acesdv.org
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
Jenna Panas, (817) 939-1577