In a distressing incident in Albania, a transgender girl Ariana (name changed) faced a brutal assault by a group of individuals who targeted her based on her transgender identity. The assailants subjected her to physical violence, leaving her in a vulnerable and terrified state. The incident did not end with the assault, as the victim, seeking refuge, encountered further distressing transphobic behavior from the very individuals meant to protect her—the police.

As the assailants departed upon the arrival of law enforcement, the transgender girl approached the police seeking assistance and justice. Shockingly, the response from the police not only fell short of providing the necessary help but also involved a bullying and transphobic approach towards the victim. This unfortunate situation did not end with one victim, as two other transgender girls also suffered from the same incident.

Reacting to this injustice, the victim courageously decided to denounce the incident by reaching out to independent state institutions, including the Ombudsmen and Commissioner Against Discrimination offices. Recognizing the severity of the situation and the need for a comprehensive response, these institutions are now actively involved in investigating and addressing the case.

This case highlights the urgent need for heightened awareness, education, and training within law enforcement agencies to combat transphobia and ensure the protection of transgender individuals. The incident also underscores the importance of fostering a more inclusive and understanding society, free from discrimination and violence based on gender identity.

To address the immediate concerns of the victims, it is crucial for the legal system to thoroughly investigate the assault and hold the perpetrators accountable. Simultaneously, measures should be taken to sensitize law enforcement agencies to the challenges faced by transgender individuals and implement protocols that prioritize their safety and well-being.

This case serves as a poignant reminder that the fight against discrimination and violence requires collective efforts from all sectors of society. The voices of the victims, amplified by independent institutions, play a vital role in challenging systemic prejudices and advocating for a society that upholds the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their gender identity.

As part of the regional campaign “Push forward! To end violence against women and girls”, REAct organized a series of webinars on how to counteract gender-based violence and how to qualitatively help women who come forward. Recordings of webinars in English, Ukrainian, and Russian are available below. In 2023, we encourage new listeners to view the webinar recordings. From November 25, 2023 to January 31, 2024, each participant receives a unique opportunity to take a short test and receive a personalized online certificate.

Visit useful materials on the REAct website for more useful courses andpublications. Operative data regarding human rights violations of vulnerable toHIV/AIDS communities is available as well on country data factsheets. Read more success stories of response here.