The Victorian Births Deaths and Marriages Amendment Act will eradicate women's abiity to access safe single-sex spaces and facilities.
The vast majority of women who access women’s refuges are escaping violence from a male perpetrator. Victims of violence should have the right to recover from trauma in a safe space, where they will not encounter biological males (regardless of how these males may claim to 'identify').
Research conducted by Sisters Inside (an advocacy and aid organisation for imprisoned and formerly incarcerated women) 90% of women in prison are of trauma. Incarcerated women will be further traumatised by the presence of men, regardless of self-declared 'identity', who will be sharing facilities such as cells, showers and toilets within the closed prison environment. Some of these men will inevitabley be sexual predators, and imprisoned women will be unable to escape them.
Women have a right to expect safety and privacy in spaces such as female toilets, shower rooms and changing rooms. Although the Act states that self-identification should not be used “fraudulently”, it is nigh impossible to police this. If this amendment is passed it will do little to prevent opportunistic males, who self identify a s female, from jeopardising women’s safety by gaining access to women’s spaces and endangering the women who use them. It is also inevitable that some men who genuinely believe themselves to be somehow female will be sexual predators, and that the presence of any of them encroaches on the rights of women to privacy in intimate spaces and to feel safe in them. This Act jeopardises women's saftey by allowing men (regardless of self-declared 'identity') into women's spaces of all kinds.
Single Sex Prisons WA A group formed in 2020 after the WA Department of Justice announced the implementation of a policy that removed sex-segregation provisions from within WA penal facilities.
Warning after transgender sex offender placed in women’s hostel: TheCourier.co.uk 26/02/2019
Women in Prison: histories of trauma and abuse highlight the need for specialised care: SBS.com.au 02/12/2016
ANROWS (Ed). (2018). The forgotten victims: prisoner experience of victimisation and engagement with the criminal justice system: Key findings and future directions (Research for policy and practice, 1/2018). Sydney, NSW: ANROWS