Intersecting racism and transphobia put transgender women at risk

Hostile gazeThe results of the study ‘Crossing the line: Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in Australia.’ (opens in a new window) and accompanying exhibition of photographs and women’s stories, (opens in a new window) are being released this week by the Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS).

The study was led by Professor Jane Ussher (THRI, SoM). Other THRI investigators include Professor Janette PerzDr Alex HawkeyProfessor Pranee Liamputtong (SoHS), Professor Virginia Schmied (SoNM), Dr Brahm Marjadi (SoM) and Dr Tinashe Dune (SoHS).

The study found that transgender women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds are more likely to be the victim of sexual harassment and violence than other women in Australia.

2295 women participated in a nation-wide survey, which aimed to explore women’s lived experiences of sexual assault and harassment, and their responses to violence, including 180 transgender women, with 15 per cent of the transgender women from CALD backgrounds. 31 Trans women of colour took part in interviews and a photovoice activity.

The results indicate that the CALD transgender women:

  • Reported more frequent sexual harassment than other women: 70% were harassed 10 or more times, compared to 40% of non-CALD transgender women, and 56% of cisgender women (women whose gender identity matches their sex at birth.)
  • Were twice as likely to report having been assaulted 10 or more times: 28% compared to 12% of non-CALD trans women, and 16% of cisgender women.
  • Reported the highest rate of sexual assault by a stranger: 44% comparted to 26% of non-CALD trans and cisgender women.
  • Were more likely to report being sexually assaulted outside the home: 41% compared to 16% of other women.
  • Received no support from the police or the legal system following assault.

Read more (opens in a new window)

Read the report (opens in a new window)

View the exhibition of photographs and women's stories (opens in a new window)

In the Media

ABC News - Australian study finds risk of sexual assault and violence significantly higher for trans women of colour (opens in a new window)