Friday, December 26, 2008

Transwoman Faces Danger in Canadian Prison System

Jeanniegrrl has alerted me to the case of a Quebec, Canada trans woman who is a prisoner and in possible danger due to her gender identity/expression.

"Tania Veilleux, 43, is legally a woman under Quebec law but is being held in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines federal facility because she's a male under Correctional Service of Canada rules.

Veilleux, formerly Sylvain, is awaiting surgery to change gender, but until that happens, she is treated as a man. Nevertheless, she wants to be sent to a woman's jail.

Her safety may be at risk, said transgendered lawyer Micheline Montreuil: "I'm sure she will be harassed," and perhaps even raped by other inmates" (CBCNews).
Ste-Anne-des-Plaines Institution
244 Montée Gagnon
Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec
J0N 1H0
(450) 478-5933
Fax: (450) 478-7077


Anonymous said...

Being a survivor of rape, I was 16, I have to agree and disagree with anonymous but at the same time - it was a very long time ago as crime goes and how can we judge that maybe she wasn't a total mess in her head from the conflict of who she was versus who she was being? Is it not possible that she was very confused, angry, sick in her soul at the time? Perhaps she has rehabilitated and even if she hasn't - let her do her time but don't discriminate against her during that time. I'm afraid of the people who say she doesn't deserve any help at all, male prisoners who rape female victims have advocates and women who kill their children have advocates, why shouldn't Tania have the same rights as other prisoners who have committed similar or even worse crimes? Her gender should not play a role in her treatment, period.

Queers United said...

Anon, I debated this beforehand, here is my take. What she did prior to transition is despicable, it is rape, and she should be given the full punishment due for the crime. That being said, prisoners do have rights, and this prisoner has the right to serve their time in a female prison, leaving her with men puts her in danger.

sarahlise said...

I have a really difficult time feeling bad for her. What about the young woman whom she thought nothing of sexually assaulting for years? I think that placing her in a women's prison is NOT safe for the other women as she has been sentenced for the very crime that the other women are worried about. However, that doesn't mean that she should be placed in with men either. Is there really no alternative?

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