Hate Crimes Against Trans People: Assessing Emotions, Behaviors, and Attitudes Toward Criminal Justice Agencies

Mark A. Walters*, Jennifer Paterson, Rupert Brown, Liz McDonnell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


Based on a survey of 593 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the United Kingdom, this study shows that direct anti-LGBT hate crimes (measured by direct experiences of victimization) and indirect anti-LGBT hate crimes (measured by personally knowing other victims of hate crime) are highly prolific and frequent experiences for LGBT people. Our findings show that trans people are particularly susceptible to hate crimes, both in terms of prevalence and frequency. This article additionally highlights the negative emotional and (intended) behavioral reactions that were correlated with an imagined hate crime scenario, showing that trans people are more likely to experience heightened levels of threat, vulnerability, and anxiety compared with non-trans LGB people. The study found that trans people are also more likely to feel unsupported by family, friends, and society for being LGBT, which was correlated with the frequency of direct (verbal) abuse they had previously endured. The final part of this study explores trans people’s confidence levels in the Government, the police, and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in relation to addressing hate crime. In general, trans people felt that the police are not effective at policing anti-LGBT hate crime, and they are not respectful toward them as victims; this was especially true where individuals had previous contact with the police. Respondents were also less confident in the CPS to prosecute anti-LGBT hate crimes, though the level of confidence was slightly higher when respondents had direct experience with the CPS. The empirical evidence presented here supports the assertion that all LGBT people, but particularly trans individuals, continue to be denied equal participation in society due to individual, social, and structural experiences of prejudice. The article concludes by arguing for a renewed policy focus that must address this issue as a public health problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4583-4613
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number21-22
Early online date27 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


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