Jenny's story: Recovering from hate crime
5 November 2018
Jenny Charles is a transgender woman who has been supported by VS following a series of hate incidents. She represents the Wales Equality Alliance, who campaign for equality for transgender people across Wales.
"At the beginning of 2017 there were a cluster of hate crimes and other incidents that all happened quite close together. After a couple of the more serious incidents, I was referred to Victim Support by the Police. One of the incidents resulted in arrests and I worked with the Police to go down the restorative justice route. I was going through a difficult time and the support I received from Victim Support really helped me.
“A combination of things helped me move beyond the assaults. The restorative justice process helped a lot and I moved to a new area which made me feel safer. Through this period, the regular practical and emotional support from Victim Support played a key role. I have since progressed in my transition and feel better about myself. After spending a while living in my reassigned gender, I felt less conspicuous and vulnerable and found I attracted less hostility.
Turning a corner
“With the support and encouragement I was receiving from Victim Support, within a few months I really turned a corner. When I first moved into my new area, I didn’t know many people and was quite lonely. Having that consistent contact with my case worker really helped me to not feel completely isolated. It gave me the boost to get out and about. I started to get to know people and make new friends. As my confidence built I wasn’t getting attacked so much. Getting involved in local community activities made me realise that most people are decent and don’t mind transgender people. There were still small incidents, but I felt much more resilient and in the end I was able to bring the support from Victim Support to a close.
“Having understood the value of the service first hand, in February 2018 I signed up as a volunteer so I could offer the same support to people who were victims of crime and I am now specialising in supporting victims of anti-social behaviour. I’m feeling so much more confident and empowered and able to move forward with my life.”
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