Experiences of Sexual Violence among Transgender Women from Mexico Seeking Asylum in the U.S
Introduction: There are reportedly 267,000 LGBT-identified, undocumented adult immigrants in the U.S. with the majority identified as Hispanic -15,000-50,000 being transgender. A 2010 Human Rights Committee report found that violence, hate crimes, and abuses continue against transgender individuals in Mexico. Not surprisingly, gender identity is a basis for asylum applications among undocumented transgender immigrants from Mexico. Purpose: To complete a document review of asylum applications (i.e., declaration document, psychological evaluation) of Mexican transgender women (n = 49), focusing on their perceptions and experiences of sexual violence and the perpetrators of that violence. Methods: Documents were identified by an organization assisting low-income individuals with immigration issues, given a code number, and provided as de-identified documents to the research team. A codebook was developed and documents were coded using NVivo. Team members read all documents, reviewed the coding, and discussed until consensus was reached. Results: Emerging themes and subthemes include Strategies of Perpetrators to Ensure Secrecy (victim blaming, demanding secrecy, threats), Types of Coercion Used (manipulation, physical violence, threats, weapon use), Motivation of Perpetrator (gender expression, punishment and control), Types of Abusive Acts (sexual, physical, both), Relationship of Perpetrator (family, police, school peers, friend of family, community member, authority figure), Consequences of Resisting Abusive Acts (physical restraint/ abuse, threat, successful resistance), and Consequences of the Abusive Acts (fear, continued harassment/assault, traumatic memories and flashback, victim blaming, depression, isolation). Discussion: Public health implications and recommendations for public health professionals will be provided including recognition of symptoms of PTSD in victim and perpetrator profile.
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the experiences and perceptions of sexual violence histories of transgender women from Mexico who were undocumented immigrants and seeking political asylum in the U.S.
Identify public health implications and needed services for transgender women from Mexico who were undocumented immigrants and experienced sexual violence.
Keyword(s): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Sexual Assault
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a licensed psychologist and an associate professor. My research foci include sexual violence, LGBTQ-related issues, and gender, and I have publications and extensive clinical experience in these areas.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.