Trans charity investigated after claims it sent breast-flattening devices to girls behind parents’ backs

Trans charity Mermaids is under investigation after claiming it sent ‘agglutinating’ devices to flatten girls’ breasts behind parents’ backs

  • Mermaids charity helps children and teens transition to a different gender
  • Claims charity sent breast-flattening devices to girls behind parents’ backs
  • The Charity Commission has now opened a ‘regulatory compliance case’
  • The Metropolitan Police described breast flattening as child abuse

<!–

<!–

<!–<!–

<!–

<!–

<!–

The transgender charity Mermaids was investigated last night by the charity watchdog over concerns about its “approach to protecting young people”.

The Charity Commission opened a ‘regulatory compliance case’ following claims Mermaids have been sending breast-flattening devices to girls behind their parents’ backs.

The charity helps children and teenagers transition to a different gender. The Daily Telegraph reported that he sent girls as young as 13 the devices that can cause breathing difficulties, chronic back pain, spinal changes and broken ribs. An investigation by the newspaper found that Mermaids staff agreed to discreetly send a ‘breast binder’ to a girl she believed was only 14 after being repeatedly told her mother would not allow her to wear one.

The Charity Commission said earlier this week that it was evaluating the allegations and has now confirmed that it has opened a case. A spokesperson said: “Concerns have been raised with us about Mermaids’ approach to protecting young people.”

The transgender charity Mermaids was investigated last night by the charity watchdog over concerns about its “approach to protecting young people”. In the photo: Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids

‘We have opened a compliance case and have written to the trustees. We now await your reply.

The Metropolitan Police described breast flattening, also called breast ironing, as child abuse.

On her website, she said, “Girls’ breasts are damaged over time to flatten them and slow their development.” She added: ‘Sometimes an elastic belt, or a binder, is used to keep them from growing out.’

In response to the reports this week, the force said: ‘The supply of a breast binder alone is not a criminal offence. However, if an individual case of someone using breast binding or breast ironing is reported to the police, it will be investigated jointly with social services as possible child abuse.

‘The same approach would be taken regardless of culture or community.’

The Charity Commission opened a ‘regulatory compliance case’ following claims Mermaids have been sending breast-flattening devices to girls behind their parents’ backs.

A Mermaids spokesperson said: ‘We have received a letter from the Charity Commission and will reply in due course. We will not make any further comments at this time. Maya Forstater, co-founder of campaign group Sex Matters, said: ‘We have heard from parents, teachers and therapists who are concerned about the actions of the sirens and encourage them to write directly to the Charity Commission and give evidence of their concerns.’

Mermaids, led by chief executive Susie Green, has recently received over £20,000 of taxpayer money in grants and over £500,000 from the National Lottery. In 2019, the Crown Prosecution Service updated its guidelines on breast ironing, saying it “should be prosecuted as a form of child abuse”.

Jaswant Narwal of CPS said at the time: ‘Our message is simple: Ironing breasts is child abuse.

“The practice inflicts serious harm on young girls and can leave them physically and mentally scarred for the rest of their lives. Although this abuse often occurs in a family setting, CPS is clear that a crime is committed when actual harm is caused to a girl, regardless of consent. It is not possible to consent to a serious aggression.

The practice is seen as a form of female mutilation and is common in Cameroon, for example, where the family wants to avoid unwanted sexual attention towards girls.

The commission’s investigation comes as Mermaids is seeking to remove the charity status of the LGB Alliance, which campaigns for gay, lesbian and bisexual rights.

Mermaids says it excludes trans people and is “seeking to undermine transgender rights work.”

.