Content note: this post discusses child abuse and transphobia, mentions suicide
Update October 13th: They have cancelled the debate
I’ve sent a copy of this letter to NSPCC Press Office firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to send similar emails.
Dear NSPCC Press Office,
I was very concerned to see a tweet from you on 11th October, advertising a “debate” between Sarah Ditum and Kellie Maloney on transgender children.
I was under the impression that NSPCC stood against all forms of child abuse. Why, then, are you holding a debate which will essentially equate to, “is it all right to abuse some children?”
One of your speakers, Sarah Ditum, is an apologist for abuse of transgender children. In late 2014, the world was horrified as a trans teenage girl was abused into suicide by her parents. Ditum expressed empathy with the parents, rather than the young girl who was abused to death. I am highly concerned that you think it appropriate to host a debate where one of the speakers empathises with child abusers, and I strongly suspect you would not decide to debate any other forms of child abuse while platforming somebody who empathises with abuse.
There are also concerns about your other speaker, Kellie Maloney, who is a domestic abuser. I know the NSPCC as an organisation are concerned about children being exposed to domestic abuse, you’ve got a whole web page on it. I can only assume you went with Maloney because no other trans person was willing to share a platform with somebody whose sympathies lie with parents who abuse a trans child to death.
I’m asking you, NSPCC, to please, please rethink this debate. Do you really want the NSPCC brand to become synonymous with debating whether certain forms of child abuse are all right?
Please cancel this debate.
I received a reply. It feels very form-lettery and does not address my specific concerns?
Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your comments.
Children and young people are increasingly raising concerns about transgenderism and gender dysphoria. Issues that are of concern to children are of concern to us.
The NSPCC hosts a series of regular debates on matters that affect children and around current and sometimes controversial child protection issues.
The NSPCC’s role is to chair the debate. It is simply providing a platform for the issue to be discussed and awareness of it raised. It is not taking a view either way.
We chose speakers who are pertinent to the debate. Both are known to the media, have spoken publicly about their views on transgender, and have differing opinions which will enable a good discussion. They do not represent the views of the NSPCC.
Sadly, no answer as to whether they usually like to have a speaker in favour of child abuse, or not, but having googled their previous events, they don’t usually invite someone who reckons everyone’s being a bit mean to people who abused their child to death. There’s also no answer as to whether or not they think it’s acceptable to debate whether a bit of child abuse is all right. I’m a little surprised the NSPCC claims to have no view on whether or not child abuse is acceptable.
Absolutely unacceptable, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be donating to the NSPCC now they’ve become the sort of charity that thinks that abuse of vulnerable children is a topic for a fun little debate.
Further update, as of 6pm: Kellie Maloney has now pulled out, meaning the NSPCC’s “debate” is now literally just the bigot.
Further update, October 13th: They have cancelled the debate, and sorted out their language.