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When Transgender People Suffer Domestic Violence


What do most people imagine when they think about domestic violence?  Most likely, it’s a picture of a beefy guy, who maybe has had one too many, losing his temper with a defenseless wife or girlfriend.  But the truth of the matter is, domestic violence occurs in situations of all kinds:  sometimes women abuse men.  There are problems with domestic violence among same-sex couples, as well.  Something most people may not realize is that transgender individuals are on the receiving end of abuse in disturbing numbers.

Troubling Facts

 Transgender people—as many as half of them—experience intimate partner violence at least once in their lifetimes; that compares to roughly 30 percent of the general population who experience this type of violence.  What makes the transgender population so vulnerable to this victimization?  Indeed, there are many potential factors that may contribute to the alarming statistics.

Rejection and Isolation

 Unfortunately, transgender individuals have often experienced extreme cases of rejection.  Gender issues have been a dispute that has isolated them from their own families in many cases.  Churches, schools, and community groups have shunned them, and in far too many cases, they have been labeled as undesirable.  The sad truth is, some transgender people expect adverse judgments when they enter relationships, and at some level, begin to believe they deserve intimate partner abuse. When abuse does occur, they may not have trusted family or friends in which to confide and get help.


Within their own communities, transgender individuals are often viewed as pariahs.  They suffer homelessness at high rates and are subjected to violence at the hands of police at a rate 300 percent higher than the general population.  When they need help, is it any wonder they are reluctant to call 911?

So they stay in dangerous settings, as intimate violence continues, and even escalates.  When they get to the point that they need medical attention, they often find that the medical community is unsympathetic to their plight.  Whether implicitly or explicitly, transgender folks get the message loud and clear:  they are aberrations, and they deserve what they get.

Deserving of Help 

Like any victim of violence, transgender individuals who experience domestic violence need and deserve help. Friends and family who want to reach out can listen without judgment, and help victims to explore safety options for times of duress. More than ever, survivors need to know that they are not alone.

Legal Help 

At the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, our experienced Baltimore protective order attorneys can help to secure a restraining order and connect survivors to additional resources.  We are committed to providing a safe space to discuss transgender intimate partner violence.  For a confidential consultation, schedule an appointment in our office today.



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