LGBT – Work Package 3

Violence on the basis of transgender status
Supervisors: prof. dr. Guy T’Sjoen & prof. dr. Petra Meier
Researcher: dr. Joz Motmans

This research project explores trans persons’ experiences of violence in order to make recommendations for the improvement of the registration, monitoring, and handling of complaints. In Belgium, such research is unprecedented and official data on the phenomenon of transphobic violence is lacking due to the absence of a specific registration code.

In 2012, a questionnaire was developed (based on a literature study) that focuses on the different types of violence (verbal, psychological, physical, sexual, or material), the context in which these incidents take place, the profile of the aggressors and those of the victims of violence, the coping mechanisms of the latter, the impact on their emotional and physical wellbeing, their willingness to report to the police, and the motivations for (not) reporting, and so on. This questionnaire was discussed and tested with the steering committee, also involving members of the trans community.

We chose the method of anonymous web-based data collection for two reasons: the invisibility of the trans population and the sensitivity of the topic. Respondents were recruited through trans organisations and networks, advertisements in the written press, caregivers who often deal with trans clients, organisations dealing with trans prostitutes, and using the snowball method. Printed survey booklets were sent out to those without an Internet connection, and promotion flyers were distributed to reach out to those trans persons who are not involved in the trans community. In total, 260 trans respondents living in Belgium took part. In the autumn of 2012, the data cleaning and analysis started; a final report is expected by December 2014.

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