Trans women’s experiences of violence
ANROWS Notepad | 18 June 2020
NEW RESEARCH PUBLISHED
Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour
[I] cannot access women’s sexual assault services because I’m transgender. And the other straight women will be afraid that I’m a perpetrator. (Fiona, study participant)
A new ANROWS report shows that trans women of colour are subject to pervasive violence both outside and inside the home. As a result, there are very few places where they are safe from abuse.
The report, based on research led by Professor Jane Ussher at Western Sydney University, is titled Crossing the line: Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in Australia.
Responding to testimony from the #MeToo movement, the research explores trans women’s lived experiences of sexual violence, which are often overlooked in national statistics or research on sexual violence against women. Using a large comparative survey, it situates their experiences within the range of sexual violence experienced by other women, including lesbian, bisexual, queer and heterosexual women.
Trans women of colour were found to be twice as likely as other groups of women to report having been sexually assaulted ten or more times. The majority of women in the study who reported sexual assault had experienced it more than once.
The research also shows that trans women of colour often receive negative responses from services that should be available to support them following experiences of violence.
The report highlights the lack of services available to these women, and makes recommendations for how service provision might be made more accessible. It also shows that, in relation to sexual violence, the experiences and needs of trans women—especially trans women of colour—remain poorly understood by many healthcare providers, legislators, police and policymakers.
KEY FINDINGS AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS
Judicial officers’ understandings of DFV perpetrator interventions
Justices, judges and magistrates play an important role in interventions with perpetrators of domestic and family violence (DFV): they sentence perpetrators, make family violence intervention orders, and refer people to behaviour change programs.
However, a new report from ANROWS shows that judicial officers are often unsure of the effectiveness of perpetrator interventions—in particular, men’s behaviour change programs—in DFV matters. It also shows that there is a lack of clarity around the role of judicial officers within the system of responses designed to hold perpetrators to account.
The research team, led by Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon at Monash University, explored the information available to judicial officers when DFV cases are before them. It was found that they have limited access to information about whether any interventions have previously been used with a perpetrator.
KEY FINDINGS AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS
Responding to trans women of colour who have experienced sexual violence
1–2pm (AEST) Wednesday 24 June
This webinar will explore the systemic barriers which prevent trans women of colour who have experienced sexual violence from accessing support services and justice.
Drawing on practice expertise and the new ANROWS report Crossing the line: Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in Australia, the panel of researchers, victim/survivor advocates and practitioners will discuss:
- how trans women from CALD backgrounds commonly experience sexual violence
- how trans women currently access support after experiencing sexual violence, and why this usually takes place outside of the service system
- recommendations for service design and practice change to improve access and acceptability for and inclusivity toward trans women of colour.
There will also be a live Q&A.
Integrated justice responses to men who use violence
1–2pm (AEST) Monday 22 June
Research has found that the domestic and family violence (DFV) service system is fragmented and creates challenges for women. To be most effective, interventions with perpetrators of DFV need to also consider women’s safety. Proposed steps to addressing the fragmented system, and toward holistic responses that bring together the provision of support with perpetrator interventions, include inter-agency collaboration, and integrated response approaches.
This webinar will explore an integrated model introduced in South Australia in 2010 that engages with men who use violence after a domestic violence intervention order has been issued. Working with the Magistrates Court, police, women’s safety services and men’s behaviour change programs, the model combines accountability and behaviour change for men with case management support for women and children.
Join our expert practitioner panel for a discussion of how this integrated response model works in practice, and the ongoing challenges of this approach.
DFV in LGBTQ relationships: Strengthening practice
Domestic and family violence (DFV) and intimate partner violence (IPV) occurs in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) relationships. However, there are limited programs available to LGBTQ victims/survivors or perpetrators. Mainstream DFV/IPV interventions are not always appropriate as their primary focus is geared towards cisgender, heterosexual female victims/survivors and male perpetrators.
This webinar will discuss a recently published ANROWS research report on Developing LGBTQ programs for perpetrators and victims/survivors of domestic and family violence and explore how the LGBTQ and DFV service sectors can strengthen referral pathways and practice, and deliver appropriate DFV/IPV programs for LGBTQ communities.
Catch up on past webinars
Have you missed some of our recent great discussions with researchers and practitioners? All of our webinars have been recorded and are being made available online.
Now available on demand:
Preventing and responding to sexual harassment in the workplace with Sex Discrimination Commisioner Kate Jenkins, Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersley and Claire Pirrett from the Northern Territory Working Women’s Centre. The panel explored the findings of Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces from the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Prioritising women’s safety in domestic violence perpetrator interventions looked at recent ANROWS research on partner contact in men’s behaviour change (MBC) programs. Lead researcher Professor Donna Chung explored the practicalities, recommendations and implications of the research for MBC practice with Damian Green, CEO of Stopping Family Violence and Rod West, Executive Manager at Centrecare. They also discussed the Practice guide developed by the research project to strengthen individual and organisational practices of partner contact.
Two webinars also discussed working with people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. In Prevention of violence against women and safer pathways to services for migrant and refugee communities, practitioners who participated in ANROWS’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Projects with Action Research (CALD PAR) initiative offered their research insights. Enhancing practice when working with men from refugee backgrounds who use domestic and family violence explored practice and service issues to consider when working with men from refugee backgrounds who use violence.
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The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is asking the public to share their views about what they think governments, institutions and communities can do to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of First Nations peoples with disability. They are interested in examples of laws, policies and practices in different settings that are not working or working well.
The Royal Commission encourages responses from individuals and organisations to the issues paper by 11 September 2020.
New resources and reports
Empowering faith and community leaders to prevent violence against women—InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
Worker Safety and Domestic Violence in Child Welfare Systems—Safe & Together Institute
[Webinar] “So, Has He Changed?” Defining, measuring and expecting behavior change as a measure of success for domestic violence perpetrators—Safe & Together Institute
Books and reports
Clevenger, S., & Gilliam, M. Intimate partner violence and the internet: Perspectives. In T. Holt & A. Bossler (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of International Cybercrime and Cyberdeviance. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
Pfitzner, N., Fitz-Gibbon, K., & True, J. (2020). Responding to the “shadow pandemic”: Practitioner views on the nature of and responses to violence against women in Victoria, Australia during the COVID-19 restrictions. Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
valentine, k., Blunden, H., Zufferey, C., Spinney, A. & Zirakbash, F. (2020). Supporting families effectively through the homelessness services system, (AHURI Final Report No. 330). Melbourne: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited.
You can access this list and all the other articles in Notepad in the ANROWS Library.
Blackburn, K., & Graca, S. (2020). A critical reflection on the use and effectiveness of DVPNs and DVPOs. Police Practice and Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/15614263.2020.1759059
Buchanan, F., & Humphreys, C. (2020). Coercive control during pregnancy, birthing and postpartum: Women’s experiences and perspectives on health practitioners’ responses. Journal of Family Violence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-020-00161-5
Dempsey, F., Hammond, M., & Dixon, L. (2020). Investigating whether controlling and aggressive relationship behaviors are discriminant. Aggressive Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1002/ab.21905
Fogarty, A., Treyvaud, K., Savopoulos, P., Jones, A., Cox, A., Toone, E., & Giallo, R. (2020). Facilitators to engagement in a mother–child therapeutic intervention following intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260520926316
Francia, L., Millear, P., & Sharman, R. (2020). Mothering—A mode of protecting rather than parenting in the aftermath of post separation family violence in Australia. Children Australia. https://doi.org/10.1017/cha.2020.24
Harsey, S., & Freyd, J.J (2020). Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender (DARVO): What is the influence on perceived perpetrator and victim credibility? Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma. https://doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2020.1774695
Hirschel, D., & McCormack, P. D. (2020). Same-sex couples and the police: A 10-year study of arrest and dual arrest rates in responding to incidents of intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801220920378
Kaukinen, C. (2020). When stay-at-home orders leave victims unsafe at home: Exploring the risk and consequences of intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. American Journal of Criminal Justice. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12103-020-09533-5
Lacey, K. K., Jiwatram-Negron, T., & Sears, K. P. (2020). Help-seeking behaviors and barriers among black women exposed to severe intimate partner violence: Findings from a nationally representative sample. Violence Against Women. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801220917464
Moulding, N., Franzway, S., Wendt, S., Zufferey, C., & Chung, D. (2020). Rethinking women’s mental health after intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801220921937
Øverlien, C. (2020). Young people’s experiences of violence and abuse in same-sex relationships: Understandings and challenges. Nordic Journal of Social Research, 11(1), 109–128. https://doi.org/10.7577/njsr.3327
Papamichail, A., & Bates, E. A. (2020). “I want my mum to know that I am a good guy …”: A thematic analysis of the accounts of adolescents who exhibit child-to-parent violence in the United Kingdom. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260520926317
Rogers, M. (in press). Exploring the domestic abuse narratives of trans and non-binary people and the role of cisgenderism in identity abuse, misgendering and pathologizing. Violence Against Women.
In the media
Killed during the pandemic—7am podcast
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