What your words meant
This holiday season, we asked JDI supporters to send messages of hope to people who have been sexually abused behind bars. In a truly inspirational display of compassion, hundreds of you wrote to rape survivors to let them know that they do not have to suffer alone, that they can count on you for support and kindness.
Over the past few weeks, we have been receiving responses from the survivors to whom you reached out – like Ca’Linda. Ca’Linda, 28, was raped by a corrections officer five years ago while serving time at a county jail for a non-violent offense. After being transferred to a state facility in 2010, Ca’Linda was sexually assaulted again – and again. Her second attacker was also a corrections officer, who, in spite of Ca’Linda’s courageous efforts to report the abuse, still works at the prison. Ca’Linda wrote us last month to express her gratitude for your support:
Alezander, a 47-year-old man who has been sexually assaulted many times while incarcerated, also shared what your words meant to him:
Here are a few more responses from survivors:
- Rafael, a 46-year-old man who was sexually abused by staff at a New York prison
- Christopher, a 34-year-old man who was sexually assaulted by his cellmate in a Texas prison
- Natalie, a 29-year-old transgender woman who was beaten and sexually assaulted after staff placed her in a cell with a known rapist
- Jeremy, a 26-year-old man who has been sexually abused by other inmates and corrections officials during his incarceration in state and federal prisons
- Roderick, who was repeatedly assaulted by gang members while serving time in a Texas prison
These are just a few of the many survivors who were inspired by your acts of kindness. It is thanks to your support – and to the courage of those behind bars who speak out against injustice – that we know we can end sexual abuse behind bars. From all of us at JDI, and on behalf of the survivors whose lives you have touched, thank you.