UK: Failing To Financially Contribute to Spouse’s “Transitioning” May Be Treated As Domestic Abuse

Yuliah Alma

The Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) in the UK has released a new guidance stating that family members and intimate partners who aren’t fully and financially supportive of their transgender or non-binary partners may face prosecution.

According to the Telegraph, CPS has rolled out new guidance that includes refusing to use preferred pronouns and “withholding money for transitioning” as acts that prosecutors would take into account when investigating domestic violence reports. 

In order to protect “trans or non-binary people” from their partners and members of their family, CPS included nine behaviors that could be considered “abuse.” On the list of new “abuses” is “withholding money for transitioning.” 

This can range from a spouse refusing to pay for “gender-affirming surgery” or other services like counseling. This failure to contribute financially to a partner’s “transition” would amount to “coercive control or abuse” according to the CPS guidance. 

Alongside failure to compensate for transition-related costs, “sharing pre-transition images” may also be investigated as an abusive and punishable act. 

In the guidance to prosecutors, they are also told that gender identity is not the same as anatomical sex.

“Gender identity is what you know your gender to be and can only be decided by the individual for themselves,” said CPS, with the guidance also stating that “trans and non-binary people can be subjected to unique forms of domestic abuse linked to their trans or non-binary identity.”

Responding to the news, Women’s Rights Network (WRN) issued a letter to the head of CPS. 

Heather Binning of WRN took to Twitter to comment on the matter, saying: “This most astonishing guidance turns the innocent and unwilling partners and family of transitioners into criminals, just because they don’t share their belief. This is about protecting men and prosecuting women. This is a men’s rights movement.”

CPS’s current “lead for Domestic Abuse” is Kate Brown. In a foreword from Brown in regards to the CPS’s Domestic Abuse guidelines, she shares that domestic abuse “[is] mostly committed by men against women, victims can also be male and abuse happens within same-sex relationships,” seemingly acknowledging biological sex and the role it plays in violence. 

But CPS also states in their Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy that “some offenders will be women, non-binary or identify in a different way and some victims will be men, non-binary or identify in a different way.”

They also made sure to point out that their VAWG guidance is “gender neutral” and can be applied “to all suspects and victims of crime irrespective of gender, or sexual orientation, in accordance with the Code.”

“Misgendering” and other actions perceived to be “transphobic” are being increasingly criminalized in the UK. 

In May, Reduxx and The Publica issued a joint report revealing that a woman had been summoned for an interview by Derbyshire Police over alleged “transphobic” behavior while she was admitted to Chesterfield Royal Hospital on mental wellness concerns.

The woman stated that she received the notice just after being released from the hospital’s mental health unit. She was seeking treatment there following a traumatic episode related to her past abuse by a trans-identified male.

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