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Transgender people often face barriers in accessing culturally competent domestic violence and rape crisis services, yet few studies have used a national sample of transgender people to study this topic or examine differential rates of discrimination within this population. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey, conducted in 2008-2009 by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, collected data about discrimination affecting transgender people across a variety of settings. The present study involves secondary data analysis of this dataset to examine whether certain sociodemographic factors and psychosocial risks are significant predictors of unequal treatment of transgender people in domestic violence programs (N=2,438) and rape crisis centers (N=2,424). For both settings, findings indicate that transgender individuals who are low-income and not U.S. citizens are more likely to experience unequal treatment based upon being transgender or gender non-conforming. Within domestic violence programs, transgender people of color, those with disabilities, and those more frequently perceived to be transgender by others are more likely to experience unequal treatment. Psychosocial risk factors (suicidality, sex work history, and disconnection from family) predict unequal treatment in both settings. The article concludes by discussing implications for social service practitioners and future research.


Author Accepted Manuscript version of an article published in:

Kristie L. Seelman (2015): Unequal Treatment of Transgender Individuals in Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Programs, Journal of Social Service Research, DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2014.987943

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