Victims of sexual abuse are speaking out against the danger of expanding access to restrooms and locker rooms on the basis of gender identity.
In an 11-minute video released Monday by the Alliance Defending Freedom, four victims of sexual abuse say such measures give predators heightened access to potential victims
Janine Simmons said she only began telling her personal story for a few months, but could not remain silent in the face of laws that make it easier for predators to abuse women and children.
“There are so many kids out there that pedophiles, they’re just looking for a chance. It is an addiction like no other,” she said. “And yet, we’ve just created a law that makes it easier for them to access their victims. I have no doubt that the person who abused me would have been more than willing to use that as access as well. No doubt.”
Kaeley Triller, who said she was sexually abused from the time she was a toddler, said part of the problem is there’s no way to define who is really a transgender person and who is not.
She pointed to an incident in Washington state, in which a man who made no attempt to present as a woman entered a women’s locker room and began changing in front of a girls swim team.
“He presented as a male, he didn’t look like a female, he didn’t even pretend to look like he was a female,” she said. “But he went in there, and they asked him to leave, and he said he had a right to be there, and nobody could prove that he didn’t.”
But even if there were a way to distinguish between transgender men and men pretending to be transgender, Ms. Triller continued, allowing biological males access to women’s locker rooms still has the potential to be triggering for survivors of sexual abuse.
“The presence of a male in any variety, whether he’s somebody who identifies as trans or not, whether he has deviant motives or not — that’s irrelevant to the reality that for survivors of sexual trauma, to just turn around to be exposed to that is an instant trigger,” she said.
Gretchen Flores said she was abused as a 10-year-old by her swim coach, who took advantage of his position to gain entry to the girl’s locker room. She said laws permitting men to access women’s facilities on the basis of subjective self-identification give every predator that same capability.
“And back then men were not allowed in women’s locker rooms,” Ms. Flores said. “The only reason he had access was that he was the swim coach.”