Discourses of sexual violence and safety among transwomen of colour: an online forum analysis
More details
Hide details
College of Health Sciences, VinUniversity, Hanoi, Vietnam
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1333
Background and Objective: Violence towards transwomen is common in many countries. It is well-known that transwomen of colour face very high rates of sexual and physical violence. This paper is based on an online forum analysis that explored the experiences of sexual violence and safety among transwomen of colour. Methods: Four online forums that allowed research were chosen for the analysis. Thematic analysis method was used for data analysis. Results: Three key themes were identified: dating and violence in intimate relationships, fear of violence and safety strategies, and coping after sexual assault. Forum posters faced heightened gender policing and scrutiny, due to not conforming to normative ideals of femininity. Femininity is also predicated on white, middle-class status, and associated with domesticity and romance. Therefore, expressions of femininity from non-white Background:s can be read as deviant or excessive. The intersection of deviation from gender norms and femininity based on whiteness means that transwomen of colour face disproportionate levels of violence, both in public and private spaces. Many face cumulative disadvantages due to gender non-conformity, participation in higher risk forms of sex work, low socioeconomic status and employment and institutional discrimination. Coping mechanisms to deal with cumulative disadvantage include seeking support from health professionals and transgender community networks. However, it includes more harmful forms of self-medicating such as heavy alcohol and drug use, self-harm and suicide attempts. Conclusions: Healthcare providers need to develop an understanding of the impacts of trauma on transwomen, particularly when it may be intertwined with gender dysphoria. Transwomen of colour are likely to have less social support as many are isolated from their families and ethnic groups.  Sexual violence survivors’ groups need to be accessible to transwomen by developing inclusive policies or setting up specific groups for transwomen who are survivors of sexual violence.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top