Intimate partner violence, transgender, victimization, lgbt
While research on intimate partner violence (IPV) has begun to include gay and lesbian relationships, these studies have almost entirely focused on cisgender relationships or victims. To date, little to no research exists on IPV in the transgender community. The current study explored accounts and meanings of IPV victimization as told by 18 transgender-identified survivors. Thirteen in-depth interviews and five open-ended questionnaires were analyzed from a modified grounded theory method through open and focused coding that revealed three broad and salient themes. First, the accounts of violence illustrated the role of transphobic and genderist attacks in the dynamics of abuse. Central to the power dynamics in these abusive relationships was the use of these attacks against trans identities. Second, participants constructed meanings behind their IPV victimization; specifically, they addressed why they felt this happened to them and what motivated abusers. Participants emphasized the meaning behind much of what they experienced as the abuser controlling transition. The survivors described their abusers as wanting to regulate their transition processes and maintain control over their lives. In their discussions, participants attempted to make sense of their experiences and explain why this could’ve happened. Participants felt that they were susceptible to abuse and in a period in their life in which they felt unwanted due to their trans status. This trans vulnerability is how most of the participants explained why they felt they were victimized by their partners. Finally, as all of the participants in the study had left their abusive relationships, their narratives revealed their processing of a victim identity. In these discussions, participants utilized a gendered discourse or a “walking of the gender tightrope” as they distanced themselves from a “typical” feminine and passive victim. Further, participants described navigating genderist resources as they sought help iv for their experiences. This study offers ground-breaking insight into how IPV affects transgender communities and illuminates the distinct realities faced by these survivors.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Diaz,, Xavier, "Victims Outside The Binary: Transgender Survivors Of Intimate Partner Violence" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2537.