Four in ten transgender people in India face sexual abuse before they reach the age of 18.

A survey, completed by the Swati Health Resource Centre asked 2,169 transgender people across three different states and found the shocking statistics.



Respondents reported that sexual violence could start as early as five years old, but people aged 11 to 15 were most vulnerable.

44% of respondents reported 2,811 separate occasions of violence – bring the average to three incidents per person.

Emotional violence was most common with 1,228 reporting an incident, followed closely by 802 reports of physical abuse and 781 reports of sexual violence.

The survey also analysed the education and living standards of transgender people living in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

It found that 30% of this surveyed had not received an education and 30% were living alone, primarily due to rejection from their families.

A trans activist in the country, known only as Sharmila, said that young transgender people lack the courage to speak up and report abuse.

The 44-year-old experienced emotional abuse when she was just 7, and he family rejected her after she was caught trying on make-up and clothes.

Her family sent her to a psychiatric facility to be “treated”, which in 1977 was far from a positive thing.

Sharmila stressed the importance of reform in education to help the transgender community progress and make them less vulnerable to violence and discrimination.

“Trans-women are often used by men for sex, only to be abandoned later,” Sharmila said. “Marriages with men tend to end in separation because of familial and societal pressures.”




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