Though few studies have been conducted to understand intimate partner violence and sexual assault in the LGBTQ+ community, a few research institutions seek more information to gather a better understanding. We have written a blog highlighting intimate partner violence for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, you can find it here. Since it was written we have been able to find more information regarding transgender people and their experience with intimate partner violence.

Transgender people experience high rates of hate crimes in the public, largely due to a lack of understanding and acceptance. You can read more here, What these numbers don’t tell us, is specifically how intimate relationships look for transgender people. Intimate partner violence and sexual assault can happen to anyone and can be perpetrated by anyone, which includes the transgender community. Transgender people may face additional unique challenges in their relationships with others, which may lead to more violence.


according to a review completed by The Williams Institute, 30 percent to 50 percent of transgender people experience intimate partner violence at some point in their lifetime compared to 28 to 33 percent in the general population.”


Transgender people often experience physical and emotional abuse very young, as they feel rejection from friends and family members. They also experience emotional abuse from society through discrimination and being told that they are not accepted. Dealing with abuse as a child is an indicator of future abuse in an intimate relationship.

Transgender people face higher rates of homelessness, this experience often followed by physical abuse and sexual abuse can be very traumatic. They are also targeted more by police, which makes the justice system an avenue that transgender people cannot trust.

When transgender people do experience abuse they are faced with unsympathetic social and medical providers, creating stronger fear of coming forward about intimate partner violence. This isolation makes them a bigger target for individuals who seek to harm others.


Additional forms of Transgender Intimate Partner Violence:

  • Emotional: Threatening to disclose gender identity, or birth-assigned sex to others. Insulting unwanted features, such as those associated with their birth-assigned sex.
  • Financial: Withholding finance for trans-specific medical services or items for expressing their authentic gender identity.
  • Physical: Gender-specific body features targeted during physical violent incidents.
  • Sexual: Eroticizing or fetishizing unwanted body features. Saying how “real” women or men have sex.


The Shelter is a Safe Zone that does not discriminate, if you or someone you know needs assistance, call to talk to a trained advocate, 800-931-7233.

In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

sexual assault


National Center for Transgender Equality. (n.d.) Housing and Homelessness. Retrieved from:
Dottermusch, M. (April 29, 2016). Domestic violence in the transgender community. Retrieved from:
Herman J.L., Brown T. (November 2015). Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Abuse amount LGBT people. Retrieved from:
Yerke A. F. (n.d.) Transgender victims of intimate partner violence. Retrieved from:
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