Rates of violence against women vs. trans

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There don't seem to be any rigorous studies comparing the rates of violence against women (especially cisgender women in particular) with the rates of violence against the transgender community (especially trans women) – thus allowing a widespread misperception that trans women are largely able to continue benefiting from male privilege even after transitioning, and can therefore be seen primarily as aggressors rather than victims.

We'll pull together figures on violence for each and do the math to see how the rates compare.

against women

Finding definitive figures is difficult, but a study[1] by the Violence Policy Center of homicide data for 2015 cites a rate of 1.12/100k for, specifically, male-on-female homicides in "single victim/single offender incidents" – that is, multiple murders and "gang bang" murders are excluded. I will assume for now that these are a fairly small portion o of the overall rate.

against trans

A key fact is that as of 2016 about 0.6% of U.S. adults identify as transgender[2]. This is relevant because most of the figures available talk about anti-trans violence in absolute numbers rather than as a percentage of the trans population. The US population in 2015-2016 was somewhere short of 330 million[3]. Given that we are trying to counteract our own pro-trans bias, we will go with this higher figure, which will tilt the results slightly towards lower trans murder rates.

This results in an overall trans population of about 1.98 million.

Regading deaths of trans people due to violence, the Human Rights Campaign reports[4] 23 in 2016 and 28 in 2017. Based on the above calculations, this equates to rates of:

  • 2017: 1.16/100k
  • 2016: 1.41/100k


Since 2016 is closer to 2015, the year for which we have comparable figures for women, we will use that for comparison:

  • women (2015): 1.12/100k
  • trans (2016): 1.16/100k

In other words, the rates appear to be comparable between women overall and trans people overall. However...

It should be noted that violence against trans people is overwhelmingly directed against trans women – e.g. in 2013, 72% of hate violence homicides of trans people were against women[5]. If we then break the numbers down by gender (TF=trans female, TM=trans male, NB=nonbinary) and assume trans women are approximately half the trans population i.e. ~99 million, we get the following:

  • 2017: 28 total - 3 TM, 1 NB, 24 TF
    • TF: 24 out of ~99m = 2.4/100k
  • 2016: 23 total - 3 TM, 1 NB, 19 TF[6]
    • TF: 19 out of ~99m = 1.9/100k

Using the closest years, we now see:

  • women (2015): 1.12/100k
  • trans (2016): 1.9/100k

In other words, the rate of homicide of trans women is about 2/3 higher than that of all women (cis and trans combined).


Stats notes

Having found numbers for 2015 on the HRC site, I should actually do the counting for that year -- and try to eliminate intermediate numbers as much as possible, e.g. getting a population number from a percentage, and then turning around and using it to make another percentage -- but I need to be done with this for now. Woozle (talk) 13:30, 5 April 2018 (UTC)


  1. 2017-09 When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data (via Ms. blog
  2. 2016-06 How Many Adults Identify as Transgender in the United States (PDF) (via Wikipedia)
  3. The last census was in 2010, where a population of 308m was reported. Estimates of population growth since then arrive at slightly varying figures, e.g. Wikipedia gives 327m for 2018 and Wolfram Alpha gives a higher figure of 329m for 2016 (based on a 2014 estimate).
  4. Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2017 (See also ...in 2018)
  5. Hate Violence Against Transgender Communities
  6. Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2016