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Transgender Intimate Partner ViolenceA Comprehensive Introduction$
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Adam M. Messinger and Xavier L. Guadalupe-Diaz

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479830428

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479830428.001.0001

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Legal System Reform

Legal System Reform

(p.258) 10 Legal System Reform
Transgender Intimate Partner Violence

Leigh Goodmark

NYU Press

Historically, intimate partner violence (IPV) laws were limited, gendered, and cisnormative. While legal recourse for transgender people has evolved over recent decades, there is room for the legal system to improve its response to IPV against transgender people. Legal system actors, including police, judges, lawyers, and court staff, often harbor conscious and unconscious biases against transgender people. The law also can limit the relief available to transgender people. To address these problems, the substantive law—the statutes and cases that govern legal practice—should include various relationship structures and utilize gender-neutral language. Equally important, police, judges, lawyers, and court staff must be attentive to the unique issues raised when transgender people seek protection (e.g., civil protection orders), including proper name usage, properly gendering litigants, and understanding how using misgendered documentation can further complicate cases of IPV. This chapter discusses these issues and suggests how the courts and legal system can better respond to transgender survivors of IPV.

Keywords:   transphobia among police, transphobia in courts, transphobia among judges, transphobia among lawyers, anti-transgender bias in criminal law, civil protection orders

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