Violence and experience of transgender individuals : how this impacts their supports

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Weir, Cassandra
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
Transgender people may experience a variety of different types of violence throughout their lives due to their gender identity. This study sought to understand the violent experiences that this population faces and the supports and resources they may access in order to deal with those experiences. In this study, five transgender individuals were interviewed regarding their experiences of violence and the resources that may or may not have been available and utilized. These interviews were then analysed using a constant comparative method. Of these five participants, two were Female-to-Male and three were Male-to-Female. All of the participants discussed the violence that they had faced. This included verbal violence from strangers, as well as physical and sexual violence. In addition to violence within relationships and random violence from strangers, participants also identified ways in which systems could be violent. These experiences also had an impact on the participants, ranging from PTSD to suicide attempts. Potential resources and supports were also examined, focusing on mental health and law enforcement. Perceptions of these supports tended to be more negative, especially among law enforcement. Instead, participants identified that they had reached out to more informal sources, such as friends, family, LGBT groups, and the Internet. With regards to the violence that the participants faced, it was largely perceived to be due to the societal reaction to them, specifically relating to transphobia and homophobia. Implications for research, practice, and limitations of the study are also discussed.
help-seeking behaviour , resources , supports , transgender discrimination , transgender violence