Trans People Four Times as Likely to Face Violent Crime as Cis

A new study provides further evidence that transgender Americans face much higher rates of violent crime than their cisgender peers.

Researchers at the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law  found that trans people are over four times more likely than cis people to experience violent crime, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault. They also found that trans people have higher rates of property victimization than cis people.

For the study, researchers looked at data from the 2017 and 2018 National Crime Victimization Survey, the first national and comprehensive survey to include respondents’ gender identity and sex assigned at birth.

Trans people age 16 and up experience 86.2 victimizations per 1,000 people, compared to just 21.7 per 1,000 for cis people, according to the study. Transgender women experience violent crime at the rate of 86.1 per 1,000 people, and trans men experience it at a rate of 107.5 per 1,000. That means that over one in 10 trans men are the victims of a violent crime at some point in their life. Those numbers drop to 23.7 and 19.8 per 1,000 people for cis women and cis men, respectively.

Additionally, while 108 cisgender households per 1,000 experience property victimization, the number for households with at least one trans person rises to 214.1 per 1,000. One in four trans women who were the victims of violent crimes believe that they were hate crimes, involving the victim’s gender, while fewer than one in 10 cis women believe they were they victims of hate crimes.

“The media has rightly given attention to the 2020 increase in murders of transgender women of color,” Andrew R. Flores, affiliated scholar at the Williams Institute and lead author of the study, said in a statement. “Our study shows that both transgender women and men are also highly vulnerable to non-fatal physical and material victimization.”

2020 saw a record number of homicides of trans people reported in the U.S., with 44. There are likely many more, as many victims are misgendered in death, and more don’t even have their deaths reported at all. So far this year, there are reports of 12 trans Americans dying from violence inflicted by others.


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