Transgender Day of Remembrance

ALICIA MINNICH

Lock Haven

Every year, Nov. 20th is recognized as Transgender Day of Remembrance.

This day serves to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender beliefs. Transgender is often defined as an umbrella term for those whose gender identify is different than the identity that was assigned to them at birth.

Transgender people often experience discrimination and violence. Countries have tried to track the rate of murder against transgender people, and found that at least one transgender person is killed every three days (Stotzer, 2017). Not only are transgender people at risk for hate crime violence, but they also experience high rates of domestic violence, sexual assault, and discrimination from service providers.

Unfortunately, domestic and sexual violence sometimes fall through the cracks of the discussion of transgender violence as hate crime violence often takes priority.

Individuals that identify as transgender are more likely than their cisgender (ed: those whose gender identities align with their birth sex) counterparts to experience harassment and receive threats and intimidation from an intimate partner (Ryan, 2008). It is likely that the survivor knew their abuser, with 31 percent of people who are trans reporting that their abuser lived in their house (Ryan, 2008).

It is believed that transgender individuals experience domestic violence at rates equal to or greater than cisgender, heterosexual women (Seelman, 2015). Further, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey has consistently demonstrated that approximately 50 percent of transgender individuals will be sexual assaulted in their lifetime (James et al., 2016).

Despite these high prevalence rates, transgender survivors often fail to access the quality services they need. For those who are able to access services, they often access services that aren’t culturally competent. Barriers that come between survivors and these services include: a lack of knowledge, a “one-size-fits-all” approach, women-only services that exclude them (including transgender women who are misgendered by providers), and oppressive beliefs that lead to discrimination (Ryan, 2008).

As a result of this information, the Clinton County Women’s Center (CCWC) has taken a proactive approach to including the experiences of transgender survivors. CCWC has dedicated time to ensuring policies, documents, and practices are inclusive of all survivors.

Further, CCWC has offered specific services for LGBTQ+ survivors such as the workshop-support group we offered in collaboration with Keystone Counseling and Evaluation Services.

All services provided by the Clinton County Women’s Center are free, confidential, and provided regardless of a survivor’s identity. We can be reached on our hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 570-748-9509.

(Alicia Minnich is a senior social work student at Lock Haven University who is interning at the Clinton County Women’s Center.)

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