Domestic abuse is any kind of abusive behaviour committed by a partner, ex partner or family member.
The UK government’s definition of domestic abuse is “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional.”
Domestic Abuse is not always categorised as violence, it can also include:
- coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
- economic abuse
- online abuse
- threats and intimidation
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
According to a study by safe lives, Trans and Non-binary survivors of abuse experience unique forms of abuse for example,
- Deliberately using the wrong pronouns (Deadnaming).
- Forcing them to perform a gender they are uncomfortable with
- Preventing someone from medically transitioning e.g. hiding hormones
- Creating barriers to surgery
While the data collected doe not fully identify all of the experiences of Trans and Non-binary survivors of Domestic abuse, it does show that 6% of trans victims/survivors who had experienced jealous and controlling behaviour were prevented from accessing their care needs or medication, and that 55% of those who had been sexually abused were made to feel uncomfortable about their sex or gender identity.
There a specific forms of transgender intimate partner violence, tactics include;
Emotional Abuse can include: Name Calling, controlling routines, criticising, lying, manipulation, blaming, changing history, gas lighting.
Identity Abuse using transphobic slurs, saying no one else will love you, refusing to use correct name/pro nouns, , saying they are not a real man / woman. Manipulating identity includes controlling how the survivor transitions, offering comments to control gender expression, compelling the survivor to act in stereotypically gendered ways.
Isolation Abuse threatening to out the survivor as transgender. Not allowing the survivor to participate in the trans community. Isolating the survivor from friends and family and using fear of external transphobia as a justification for isolation.
Financial Abuse Demanding the survivor to pay for transition related expenses, forcing the survivor to support the abuser financially. Using finances to control.
Physical Abuse Targeting chest and genitals for physical violence. Blocking transition related care and recovery. Not allowing the survivor to heal after surgery. Threats to commit suicide or to kill the survivor , disrupting sleep.
Sexual Abuse Eroticising survivors body without permission. Intentionally calling peoples body parts by the wrong name. Coercing the survivor into sex. Demanding sex as a way to affirm gender identity.
Its important to recognise that domestic abuse is not limited to an ongoing relationship and can escalate during the separation process. Leaving any relationship is hard but leaving an abusive one is much harder.
The advocates at Loving Me understand transgender issues and can provide advocacy and support that fully understand the nuances of a transgender survivor.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, follow the link below.