Report: Greater risk of sexual violence among trans women of colour

A groundbreaking new report exploring the lived experiences of transgender women of colour living in Australia, reveals a greater risk of sexual assault both outside and at home.

The research, published by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, and led by Western Sydney University’s Professor Jane Ussher, highlights the vulnerability of people living on the intersection of gender diversity and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

Crossing the line: Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in Australiahears stories from these women, often uncounted and unheard in national discourse and data collection.

Employing a comparative survey, the data is compared with experiences of other women, including lesbians, bisexuals, queer women and heterosexuals.

The results show trans women experience higher rates of sexual violence than cisgender women, and trans women of colour are at most risk.

The research also shines a light on the inaccessibility of support services for trans women, with many healthcare providers, police and policymakers not being able to meet their needs. Trans women from CALD backgrounds are the least likely to receive appropriate support.

Hearing the lived experiences of these women also found health and wellbeing for trans women is improved when trans women feel included and accepted and support for medical transition and hormone therapy access can reduce the risk of transphobic violence.

Key recommendations drawn from the report include expanding education and awareness-raising for healthcare providers, police and policymakers, challenging societal attitudes that trivialise or condone violence against all women and ensuring future policy documents and clinical guidelines employ inclusive language.

The team behind the research are hosting a webinar exploring the data, with Professor Ussher, Sex Workers Outreach Project Trans Outreach officer Chantell Martin, and Hilary Kincaid from Inner City Legal Centre on Wednesday 24th June.

The full report is available here. 

OIP Staff

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