Violence Against Trans Women of Color

May 26, 2023

In 2019, Associate Professor Karin Tobin partnered with  Access to Prevention Advocacy Intervention & Treatment to develop, deploy, and analyze interviews with transgender women of color who have experienced interpersonal violence in Los Angeles.  

With funding from the Initiative, the team reviewed literature about the place-based factors that influence interpersonal violence with a focus on those unique to transgender women of color. They developed an in-depth interview guide focusing on the daily routine of transgender women of color and factors that influence interpersonal violence at the individual, interpersonal, community, and structural levels. The guide also includes questions about strategies for survival and resilience.  

They interviewed 16 racially/ethnically diverse transgender women.  

  • The women experienced violence due to their intersecting identities (race, gender, immigrant). Housemates, family members, partners, police, EMTs and general public cis-men were all sources of violence. Violence was physical and emotional. 
  • The women described violence related to place and public policy, including being incarcerated with cis-men and lack of housing services tailored for transgender women. 
  • Place was a significant determinant of violence and safety. Public transportation was commonly cited as a dangerous place for transgender women.  

Access to Prevention Advocacy Intervention & Treatment used the collected data to identify prevention needs, inform their priorities, and support their advocacy work. This project demonstrated that a focus on transgender women of color can provide important findings about place-based policies and practices needed to reduce health disparities and enhance social justice. 

The team presented their findings at the 2021 Society for Prevention Research Virtual 29th Annual Meeting. The findings were also published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence in August 2022 and in Culture, Health and Sexuality in 2023.  

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