Report: Half of transgender people face physical, verbal attacks

Transgender Symbol (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/ParaDox). (Transgender Symbol (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/ParaDox))

Nearly half of the estimated 390 thousand transgender people living in the Netherlands faced verbal or physical attacks over the past year. This includes threats, sexual harassment or destruction of property, among other things.

This is according to a study done by Transgender Network Netherlands, TNN, among 351 transgenders, broadcaster NOS reports. The study also found that many transgender people have made changes in their lives because of this abuse. "About 80 percent opt for safety and therefore stay at home", TNN president Corine van Dun said to the broadcaster.

In response to this study, LGBT interest group COC has written a letter to Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs asking for a legal ban on discrimination against transgender people. The organization feels that the discrimination against them is so specific that the current ban on discrimination based on sex is inadequate.

The letter cites the psychological position of transgender people in the country as reason for a specific legal ban. "Two thirds of transgenders are lonely, a quarter even to a strong degree", the letter states, according to NOS. "More than 20 percent have attempted suicide, that is 10 times more than the average."

The COC believes that there is widespread support for an explicit ban among politicians, including from Minister Plasterk himself.