More and more domestic violence shelters are considering expanding to serve all genders of survivors. Some shelters have housed male, transgender, and non-binary residents alongside non-trans women for years. How have they fared? What barriers did they have to overcome? What advice do they have for other shelters considering gender integration? This unique publication presents the results of in-depth interviews with 20 gender-integrated shelters, providing a thought-provoking roadmap for shelters wanting to serve all those in need.
Transgender and non-transgender survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) share the same vital need for safety, shelter, and support services. All trans individuals who have experienced IPV deserve and are entitled to the same level of support and services that other trans and non-trans individuals can access. Although the majority of barriers all gender vectors of trans people face are similar, there are some challenges to shelter access, system structures, and trans-specific issues that are unique to individuals on the trans-feminine spectrum, trans-masculine spectrum, and to those who are androgynous or gender non-conforming. To better discuss the unique challenges and solutions for these populations, this document focuses on trans women and references separate tandem documents that concentrate on trans men and gender non- conforming individuals who are seeking shelter. The recommendations within this document apply to the majority of trans women, however, there may be unique variables for immigrant1 and non-English-speaking trans women, as well as for trans women of color, who may have additional layers of intersectional barriers.
Fifty percent (50%) or more of all transgender and gender non-conforming people have experienced some form of sexual abuse, sometimes from many different people over many years. Transgender or gender non-conforming sexual abuse survivors may feel as though their experience is too complex for people to understand. Sexual assault already inextricably mixes up issues of sex, gender, body image, power and self image without the complication of gender identity issues added in as well. When trans and gender non-conforming survivors reach for help, they find that many self-help and internet-based materials are steeped in binary gender stereotypes, making them painful reading for some. This guide, written specifically for trans and non gender-conforming survivors, aims to fill that void.
This document discusses key concepts and provides guidance to promote effective work with transgender survivors of sexual violence.