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Gender Diverse People Exposed to Higher Rates of Sexual Violence

Gender Diverse People Exposed to Higher Rates of Sexual Violence

A new report launched today at the Australasian Sexual Health Conference has revealed trans and gender-diverse Australians experience higher rates of sexual violence and coercion than their cisgender counterparts. 

Among the 1,613 trans and gender-diverse participants who repsonded to the 2018 Australian Trans and Gender Diverse Sexual Health Survey, more than half had experienced sexual violence or coercion at some point in their lives. This rate of abuse is four times higher than that of the general population. 

Almost 70% of those victim survivors experienced repeated episodes of abuse, compared to 45% of the general population. 

The online survey was hosted by the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales and conducted in collaboration with community advocates, clinicians and researchers from across Australia. 

It represents the first national piece of research in Australia exploring the topics of sex and romance as experienced by trans and gender-diverse communities. 

Survey participants were asked a diverse array of questions on subjects related to their sexual health and wellbeing, including dating, sex, sexual health care, sexual violence and coercion, pleasure, relationship satisfaction and marriage.  

The report also found that trans and gender-diverse participants assigned female at birth were more likely to experience sexual violence than those assigned male (61.8% versus 39.3%). Trans women were the least likely to report sexual violence, although their rate of abuse (36%) was still almost double that of the general population.

The report also shed light on some harmful assumptions being made by Australia’s healthcare services and providers in regards to the gender, bodies and sex lives of trans and gender-diverse individuals.

More than half of the survey respondents reported experiencing insensitive sexual healthcare at some point in their lives; ranging from issues such as not having appropriate gender options on forms to inappropriate touching and invasive questions.

This research represents the largest survey on Australia's trans and gender-diverse community conducted to date.