Background : There is emerging recognition of the risk for intimate partner violence (IPV) among transgender people. However, previous studies of IPV in transgender populations have been limited by small samples, imprecise measurement of IPV, and inattention to manifestations of IPV specific to transgender people.
Methods : Using data from the 2015 United States Transgender Survey, we performed logistic regression to estimate the prevalence and explore correlates of lifetime psychological, physical, and transgender-related IPV as well as stalking and forced sex committed by an intimate partner. The final regression model adjusted for race/ethnicity, annual household income, highest level of education, age, gender identity, birthplace, census region, relationship status, and social marginalization (i.e., past year incarceration, past year sex work, and lifetime homelessness).
Results : Among the 23,999 participants, 62.6% identified as White, 0.7% as Alaskan Native/American Indian, 4.7% as Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 12.7% as Black/African American, 16.5% as Latinx/Hispanic, 0.4% as Middle Eastern/North African, and 2.5% as Multiracial/Not Listed. The sample was 31.2% transgender men, 34.2% transgender women, 27.5% assigned-female-at-birth nonbinary, and 7.1% assigned-male-at-birth nonbinary. Rates of IPV were high: 42% endorsed psychological IPV, 39.86% endorsed physical IPV, 30.36% endorsed trans-related IPV, 18.04% endorsed stalking, and 21.49% endorsed forced sex by an intimate partner. These outcomes were consistently associated with race/ethnicity, gender identity, and experiences of social marginalization.
Conclusions : Results highlight the need for transgender-inclusive IPV screening practices and interventions designed to prevent and address IPV that address the unique manifestations of IPV in transgender adults. IPV prevalence was particularly high in certain racial/ethnic and gender identity subgroups, indicating a need for targeted interventions. Future studies should examine the syndemic effects of IPV, social marginalization, and health outcomes related to HIV, substance use, and mental health in transgender populations.