SURVIVOR TESTIMONY

Some of these stories are graphic, uncensored accounts of actual rapes and surrounding circumstances. The language used may be raw and include street slang. JDI has made only minor edits for spelling and clarity. The views expressed are those of the individual survivor/author, and are not necessarily the views of Just Detention International.

My name is Alisha, I am 23 years old and I am an inmate in prison in Kentucky. My story is a long one but one that needs to be told. It took almost a year for me to get the courage to fully speak out about what I have been through. For the longest time I thought all that happened to me was my fault and on top of the pain, anger, and loss of dignity I had a broken heart.

I have three children and a family whom I am very close to and if not for them I know I would have never come through this as a survivor and now I will stop at nothing to make sure I do everything in my power to help rape victims and help (hopefully) change laws and bring awareness to everyone. It seemed my hands were tied and I was fighting a losing battle until I contacted an attorney and a friend turned me on to JDI and was amazed to see the information about this problem, answers to questions I still find myself asking myself and stories of people who have been through and overcome the same thing. I want to thank you for giving me hope and light when I was in total darkness. Now maybe one day we can stop this problem that so many people choose to ignore.

I came to prison at KCIW in May of 2007, for credit card fraud. I had to leave my babies, my family, and my home and I had never been to prison before and had no idea what I was walking into. At the beginning of June of 2007, I met a lieutenant, he started constantly paying attention to me, talking to me on the yard, pulling me out of my dorm to talk to me in private. He was so handsome and so sweet and we got to know each other more and more with every meeting we had.

We would laugh, talk about everything from my kids, to our families, school, how he got into corrections and I how I came to prison. Our talks were never on a professional level, but I didn’t think about that then nor did I care. He made me laugh and gave me a shoulder to cry on when I needed.

By this time, I was working 24 hour maintenance and had moved into a building where classified inmates lived. One day in the middle of June he came and got me out of the dining room and ask me to go look at LWC Building’s air because it wasn’t working, I said okay but he told me to meet him at the gate after dinner and he would take me to the maintenance shop to get my tools. So I did as he told me and meet him at the gate and we went to the maintenance shop and once inside we had sex for the first time. This was the start of what took place the next several months. We began a full time intimate relationship inside the prison. He began to get very controlling and possessive of me.

Because I am a bisexual he was constantly accusing me of having a relationship with other inmates. It got so bad that he was pulling my friends out and threatening to lock them down if they didn’t stay away from me. The threats and the verbal abuse and our fighting just continued to get worse until one night in December it spiraled out of control, and he threw me against a wall because he thought I was sleeping with an inmate. I told him I couldn’t do this anymore and he told me he would have me shipped and put me in segregation and I would not see my children, so naturally I agreed.

At this point I told my best friend what had happened and told my family. In the course of the next two weeks is when the next attack happened but by another officer which was a sergeant who was friends with him, and was very close to the situation. He came and got me in the middle of the night and told me if I didn’t have sex with him that once again I would be put in segregation and not be able to see my children and that he would tell Internal Affairs about my affair with the captain. I was scared and knew I couldn’t win and had sex with him.

Shortly after this I completely broke down and told a staff member who I felt I could trust and she told internal affairs. I was locked down in segregation and eventually transferred to another facility while in segregation the whole time. There was a full investigation in which I was given a polygraph and spent my Christmas locked down. I was immediately transferred to Otter Creek Correctional Complex and was placed directly in segregation where I remained for three months. The captain and sergeant involved were fired and in the end no charges were pressed.

Once released from segregation at Otter Creek I soon realized my life as I knew it would never be the same. Inmates treated me totally different and officers picked at me and treated me so bad. It got to the point I was actually scared for my life and told my attorney I thought I could not make it out alive. Well I did make it out alive but not before I was sexually assaulted again by an officer in the middle of the night while I was trying to use the phone he pulled me into the staff bathroom where he forced my clothes off of me and told me he would kill me if I told anyone. Thankfully I didn’t have to tell anyone because the other inmates did and I was locked down the next morning and sent to the hospital where a rape kit was done. An investigation was done and the officer was terminated from employment and I received a writeup and was shipped back to KCIW. I received 45 days in cellblock and 60 days loss of good time.

I stayed in segregation until transferred and when I got to KCIW I was placed directly in segregation where I have remained. I met the parole board in October and received a two year deferment because of all of this. I have three children and family whom I have not been able to see except through glass for a year.

Until recently I blamed myself for all of this. I thought maybe I shouldn’t have wore makeup or fixed my hair or maybe it was the way I walked and I ask for it. I felt ashamed because I had falling in love with the captain at KCIW. I thought if I only I had broke it off with him in the beginning and none of this would have happened. I felt alone and ashamed and embarrassed and I couldn’t understand how this happened to me because I thought I had control of everything in my life. But I didn’t and I know that now. I got upset, then I got mad, but then I got strong and realized that if I completely broke down I would loose more than I already lost and that just sitting back and being quiet and letting it go was not going to solve anything.

I will never get back what they took from me emotionally and physical and more than anything they took my parole and took me away from my family for another two years and if I can do anything to stop this from happening to another women I’m gonna do it.

It’s not right that while they are at home living their lives like nothing ever happened I am still sitting in segregation in prison and while they lost their jobs I lost my life but I’m putting it back together minute by minute. I still have flashbacks and can’t sleep at night but I know now that this was not my fault and I did not invite this to happen to me. I was powerless in the situation and I lost control from the start because as inmates we have no rights, we have no power, and when it comes down to it we are nothing but inmates.

That’s why I’m becoming a part of this program and am writing this story because something has got to change because not everyone has a family and means to get through this as I did and if people do not open their eyes to this problem we’re not only gonna lose our dignity, pride, respect and our hearts but we’re gonna start losing our lives and just because we have made mistakes somewhere down the line does not mean we have to go through stuff like this and live in fear. And my message to everyone is that you are not alone if this has happened to you but speak up because being silent is not the answer.

- Alisha, Kentucky

Back to Survivor Testimony next >>