E-NEWS - 2011

One Letter, One Life

Can a letter save a life?

On Monday, I told you about Jeffrey, who is doing time in state prison for nonviolent drug-related charges. Jeffrey tried to make the most of his prison time by going to Narcotics Anonymous, but staff kept him from attending meetings. After he filed complaints, three corrections officers took him out of his cell, brought him to an office, and sexually assaulted him.

Like any other survivor, Jeffrey was devastated by the abuse. And like most, in the aftermath of the assault, he struggled with desperate feelings of being alone and helpless.

Survivors in the community can call anonymous hotlines or reach out to a trusted friend or family member, but incarcerated survivors can't make those choices. What's worse, they often face life-threatening danger -- from other inmates and from staff -- if they tell anyone what's happened.

That's where you come in.

With your help, JDI transforms lives -- one letter at a time. We hear from survivors like Jeffrey every single day; survivors who are scared, hopeless, and trapped with their abusers. We respond to each one with a personal letter, self-help information, and a note of encouragement from another prisoner rape survivor.

So, can a letter save a life?

Jeffrey was sexually assaulted by those officers two years ago, and he's still trying to cope with the medical problems and emotional pain. But Jeffrey isn't alone anymore. He writes,

"Truly this past year you've kept me going. Your reply to my problems has kept me alive, struggling through it all. It's good to know someone cares."

JDI's One Letter, One Life campaign aims to raise $216,600 -- $1 for each one of the people who, like Jeffrey, is sexually abused every year while in the custody of our government.

Your gift, today, will provide a lifeline to survivors like Jeffrey, letting them know that they are not alone, they are not to blame, and they can get help.

And don't forget to check us out on Facebook and Twitter -- we're posting daily quotes from survivors throughout April, in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

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