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Roadblocks To Reporting Domestic Violence For Transgender Individuals


If you are a transgender person who suffers in silence when an intimate partner becomes abusive, you are not alone.  The transgender community has repeatedly experienced difficulty in finding a safe space to exist, and drawing attention to themselves is often a frightening and humiliating experience.  At WiseLieberman, we want people to know that, whatever your circumstances or background, you deserve to be affirmed for who you are.  Included in that, you most certainly deserve to live in safety.

Fear of Revealing too Much 

All too often, transgender individuals are afraid to reach out for help when they experience abuse because they fear negative judgments about their gender to color the response.  It’s hard enough to come out to co-workers and acquaintances; the idea of sharing their trauma with a doctor in a clinic or to a police officer who responds to a complaint is overwhelming. There have been too many documented cases of professionals leering and jeering, allowing their own prejudices to prevent them from doing the jobs they are supposed to be doing in all communities. Whether the revulsion is openly hostile, frigidly incapacitating, or politely demure, transgender folk who need help often are left feeling more isolated than ever after asking for help.  So domestic violence in the transgender community goes unreported, leaving some of the most vulnerable with no lifeline.

Improving Services for Transgender Survivors of DV 

Transgender individuals deserve the same compassion and assistance as any other victim of domestic violence.  They have suffered intimidation, humiliation, fear, and violence, and escaping those things often requires interventions involving multiple agencies.  If victims are afraid to reach out, though, because service providers are ill-informed or untrained when it comes to dealing with the particular needs of transgender folk, they may languish in dangerous relationships with no hope of ever getting out.  That’s why passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)—which address the transgender population as well as men– was particularly helpful.  Agencies seeking federal funding to improve resources for victims of domestic violence are required to provide inclusive, gender-affirming services.  Shelters must provide housing for individuals who are hiding from abusers.  Are transgender individuals allowed access to vital resources such as personal care items, clothing, or medications they require in these settings?  With better informed policies and employees, all victims of domestic violence will ultimately experience better and more comprehensive services in a safe setting.

Legal Protections 

The legal system has clear lines of protection for victims of domestic violence.  Those protections are not limited to only mainstream communities.  At WiseLieberman, you can count on strenuous efforts to obtain restraining orders and on your behalf, as well as genuine concern as we work to link you up with the resources you need to be safe and move forward.  Contact our Boca Raton domestic violence attorneys today.

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