Domestic Violence Service Providers’ Capacity for Supporting Transgender Women: Findings from an Australian Workshop

Damien Riggs, Heather Fraser, Nik Taylor, Tania Signal, Catherine Donovan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Previous research has consistently found that transgender women experience high levels of domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Yet, to date, no studies have explored the efficacy of training workshops aimed at increasing the capacity of service providers to meet the needs of transgender women. This paper reports on findings from one such workshop developed and run in South Australia. Workshop participants (n = 25) from three domestic violence services completed both pre- and post-workshop measures of attitudes towards working with transgender women, comfort in working with transgender women and confidence in providing services to transgender women. In addition, participants responded to open-ended questions regarding terminology, and awareness of referrals related to the link between DVA and animal abuse. Statistically significant changes were identified on all measures, with workshop attendees reporting more positive attitudes, greater comfort and greater confidence after completing the workshop. Analysis of open-ended responses found that attendees developed a better understanding of both appropriate terminology, and referrals for women who present to services with animal companions. We conclude with suggestions for how programmes and services may become more welcoming and inclusive of transgender women experiencing DVA.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2374-2392
    Number of pages19
    JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


    • animal abuse
    • cisgenderism
    • domestic violence and abuse
    • service provision
    • training
    • transgender women


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