A trans-identified male is in custody after allegedly murdering his trans-identified female partner in Porsgrunn, Norway. The complex case has prompted confusion due to police and media reporting that a woman murdered a man.
On the night of November 26, police were called over a domestic dispute in the South-East district of Porsgrunn. Despite injuries being reported and medical treatment being sought by a female, it was determined that no intervention was required at the time. Just two hours later, at approximately midnight, police were called again, with the female victim suffering critical injuries at the residence.
The victim, 22, was rushed to hospital but did not survive, quickly resulting in her male partner, 18, being taken into custody and charged with murder. The names of both parties have not yet been released.
The victim and accused were in a relationship and had just recently moved in together, signing a lease on Friday. Some neighbors in the housing complex have come forward to speak with local press and reveal they heard screaming and shouting throughout Sunday evening, while the tenant who lived above the couple says he heard a loud “bang” that night. Police have confirmed that a gun was not the cause of the sound, but that a potential murder weapon of an undisclosed nature has been retrieved.
According to Telemarksavisa, police had been notified over incidents of violence between the two multiple times in the last year.
While a number of details surrounding the slaying are currently unclear, both the police and media reporting of the incident have prompted backlash from Norwegian women’s rights advocates due to the obfuscation of the biological sex of both the suspected murderer and the victim.
Initial reports stated that a man had been arrested in connection with the murder of another man, with outlets such as Dagbladet later switching their articles to clarify that a woman had been arrested in connection with the murder of a man. This follows confirmation by the public register that both the victim and the accused are legally the opposite sex of their current identification.
“In an earlier version of this article, Dagbladet referred to the accused as a man …. This information was later changed to the fact that the accused wants to be referred to as a woman. Dagbladet has corrected,” a notice embedded into the article reads.
Subsequent coverage by other news stations, such as NRK, referred to the suspected murderer as a “woman,” as police scrambled to revise their previous references to the accused as having been a man.
“The police initially reported that it was a man who had been arrested and suspected of the murder. This morning, the police changed the charge to a woman for the murder. A revision was made,” NRK wrote in their correction.
Police have said that the 18-year-old male in custody will be treated in accordance with his self-declared gender identity.
On social media, Norwegian women’s rights advocates condemned the confusion.
“In other words, a man has killed a woman. In other words, a classic partner murder. With pronouns,” one user wrote in response to a screenshot of a revised article that began circulating on social media.
“Is this the trans genocide we keep hearing about?” another sarcastically remarked.
The 18-year-old suspect has been remanded to prison for two weeks so that psychiatric evaluations can be conducted. He has not commented on his charges.
Norway has become notorious for its extremely lenient gender self-identification laws, and introduced “gender identity” into its hate crime legislation as a protected characteristic in January of 2021. Since then, a number of people have been placed under criminal investigation for failing to affirm a transgender person’s identity.
Shortly after the legislation was revised, a Norwegian man was sentenced to 21 days in prison and a fine of 15,000NRK after being found guilty of “insulting” and “misgendering” a trans-identified male on Facebook. The next year, a women’s rights advocate was investigated by police after stating that males could not be mothers.
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