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.

For eighteen months, from September 2000 to April 2002, I was subjected to a system of gang-run sexual slavery at the James Allred Prison in Texas. I was an openly gay, first-time offender convicted of non-violent drug charges – in other words, a target. After arriving at the facility, I was immediately pressured by gang members to sleep with someone in exchange for protection. At first I resisted these approaches, but it wasn’t long until I was raped. The perpetrator promised to keep me from being owned by the gangs if I would only have sex with him. Instead, he and his gang forced me to have sex with other gang members and also sold my services to other inmates.

I was being assaulted in the showers, stairwells, my cell, and other cells. After I made complaints to prison officials, they told me, “Go down there and fight like a man, or get a man.” Prison officials also threatened me for exposing their misconduct, by seeking help through the courts.

Upon my release from prison in late 2003, I was diagnosed with Severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depression. I was prescribed massive dosages of medication.

I took on various jobs in the Austin area, counseling homeless young people, and working with many groups involved in the fight for prison reform. I organized a prison rape information project with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, assisted other survivors re-entering back into society, and advocated for the rights of gay prisoners in hope of showing the world that prison rape had been ignored far too long. In the years of dealing with the recurring nightmares and horror of my traumatic experience, I sought help, and spent endless hours in counseling sessions, all to no avail. I could not heal my broken spirit, heart, and pride.

In late 2007, my inaction and hopelessness brought on through my depression led to my return to incarceration. I now sit in a desert prison outside the state of Texas hoping through all of my fear and pain that someone out there was given a second chance of hope. My days are hopeful and my nights are lonely, but through faith I know all things are possible to overcome.

- Roderick, Texas

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