Angel workers have ‘nightmares’ about death threats and abuse

Angel workers have ‘nightmares’ about death threats and abuse

Mermaids parade at Pride in London 2019. (Barcroft Media via Getty/Victor Szymanovich)

CEO Susie Green has revealed that staff at trans children’s charity Mermaids were abused and had to call the police.

That’s why the charity has launched a “Fightback Fund” to ensure staff can continue to carry out vital work supporting trans children and their families.

In September, telegram Targeting Mermaids, the charity launched a string of articles accusing it of patronizing issues.

The right-wing magazine published an “investigation” which relied on an unidentified adult posing as a 14-year-old to access services including the charity’s youth forum and an internet chat helpline.

Another story wrongly suggested that the use of chest binders, a safe and common practice for some trans and non-binary people, could be considered child abuse.

Most of the mainstream British press picked up on the story, creating a media storm and inciting shocking abuse of Mermaids staff.

said Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids Pinknews Between March and August this year, the charity received 29 abusive calls or messages, none of which crossed the line into a hate crime.

Following publication telegram’s stories, the charity received 130 abusive and threatening calls and messages in less than a month, 80 of which were so serious they had to be reported to the police.

Servants of angels are deceived by ‘brutal’ transpopes

Mermaids’ vital helpline for young people received so many calls that the charity was forced to put it on hold.

As the abuse continues, the charity has decided to close on Wednesdays so staff can get some mid-week respite from “deeply traumatic” calls.

Green said: “We’ve had staff having nightmares after receiving those messages, their information has been posted on social media, pictures of staff have been posted online, and really nasty, cruel comments down the line.”

“There are members of our staff team and our volunteer team who have never expressed that hostility on a personal level,” he added. “It was and continues to be deeply traumatic.”

Green said he was personally “accustomed” to online abuse, “to actually receive a death threat over a phone call, and to be called a pedophile and a child abuser is disgusting”.

“The worst thing about this is that our staff and volunteers are doing this because they care deeply about trans kids and can live with respectful autonomy, and when they’re there to help, they’re being abused in that way,” she continued.

“You wonder where people’s heads are when they think it’s acceptable to phone a children’s charity and abuse the people who answer the phone. It boggles the mind a bit.”

As well as abuse of staff and volunteers, there has been a “coordinated attack” on angel funding sources, contact with charity partners and complaints to the Charity Commission.

The Mermaids Fightback Fund aims to raise £25,000 to secure the future of Mermaids – keeping its helpline open, continuing to provide safe spaces for children, young people and their families and helping to ensure the voices of trans young people are heard.

Of course, the anti-trans abuse that Mermaids faces greatly affects the children and families they support.

Green said: “I had a conversation with a parent who said to me: ‘Am I now going to be considered a child abuser? Because I’m supporting my child who is now very happy that they got a binder and they’re absolutely happy, I’ve never seen them so happy. Am I now going to be accused of being a child abuser because I support them to feel better about themselves?

“And for kids, it’s about invalidating trans youth, invalidating their existence and invalidating their right to be themselves, to make themselves happy, to feel more comfortable.”

Anti-trans rhetoric in the media has an impact on real life

The idea for the Fightback Fund was sparked by Mermaids’ supporters who could see how the charity was being targeted and desperately wanted a way to help.

“Our partners said they were absolutely outraged that this was happening,” Green said. “It’s an outlet for that and a means for people to show that support and be able to put themselves out there in public with something that supports us.”

The rise of harsh anti-trans rhetoric in the media “has a real-life impact on children and young people and trans adults”, Green said, noting that recent Home Office figures showed a 56 per cent rise in anti-trans. Hate crimes in a year.

The idea of ​​a UK without Mermaids services is worrying, given its decades-long history of supporting trans young people across the country.

But Green is adamant about one thing: “We’re not going anywhere.”

You can donate to the Mermaids Fightback Fund here.

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