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.

Being incarcerated is nothing one can imagine. It’s an experience beyond description, a world within a world. As a transgender female, experience was my only and best teacher. I was not looked upon as a person, but as a receptacle for sperm.

Being sexually assaulted in prison was my beginning of feeling and knowing the word demoralized, being looked at and treated as nothing more than just an object. I have always been a loving and caring woman; however, from such deliberate intentional acts of sexual abuse, a part of me is broken. Sadly, it can never be healed; the nightmares, constant fear, and panic attacks in groups of people make it impossible to heal.

My first sexual assault was so abrupt and shocking, I felt totally paralyzed, unable to comprehend what just happened to me. For the rest of the day, I stayed locked in my cell, reliving the horror, feeling dirty, ashamed, unclean, then rage and anger, plotting revenge.

I did not report the incident because officers were involved with the inmates in illicit activities. After cutting myself, I was transferred to another facility. My next encounter was waking up with a sharp object at my neck, unable to move while he finished using me.

Two years later in the same facility, an officer followed me into the isolated laundry room. Pinning me up against the machine, the officer squeezed my private area and groped my breast. The officer was terminated, and I was transferred to the currently facility where I’m now housed.

Since the first week of being here, an officer took a special interest in me and forced me to be a sex slave for a year. Only when I finally started experiencing severe psychological problems did the truth came out. The officer was terminated; however, I never received any treatment. I’m depressed. I isolate myself as much as possible.

Unable to sleep, I have panic attacks regularly and frequently. Each day is a mystery because the dread of hopelessness is imminent because of inadequate treatment.

This pain is so surreal, phenomenally powerful, suffocating. What has truly been the pivotal factor of my sexual abuse is that both officers who abused me were females.

I pray nobody else has to experience such abuse by anyone, especially by corrections officers.

- Ophelia, Virginia

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