Sexual assault in prisons

By Debra Loevy American prisons are notorious for subjecting prisoners to the risk of sexual violence. Yet, shockingly little is done to stop sexual assault in our prisons, and the public remains not just unconcerned, but sickeningly amused by the problem. Think about how often prison rapes are the punchline of a joke in movies or on television.

Sexual assault in prisons

When I first came to prison, I had no idea what to expect. Certainly none of this.

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I'm a tall white male, who unfortunately has a small amount of feminine characteristics. These characteristics have got me raped so many times I have no more feelings physically.

I have been raped by up to 5 black men and two white men at a time. I've had knifes at my head and throat.

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I had fought and been beat so hard that I didn't ever think I'd see straight again. One time when I refused to enter a cell, I was brutally attacked by staff and taken to segragation though I had only wanted to prevent the same and worse by not locking up with my cell mate.

There is no supervision after lockdown. I was given a conduct report.

Sexual assault in prisons

I explained to the hearing officer what the issue was. I've requested protective custody only to be denied. It is not available here. He also said there was no where to run to, and it would be best for me to accept things.

I probably have AIDS now. I have great difficulty raising food to my mouth from shaking after nightmares or thinking to hard on all this.

Sexual assault in prisons

I've laid down without physical fight to be sodomized. To prevent so much damage in struggles, ripping and tearing. Though in not fighting, it caused my heart and spirit to be raped as well.

Something I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself for. Having been alerted to the problem of prisoner-on-prisoner rape in the United States by the work of activists like Stephen Donaldson of the organization Stop Prisoner Rape, we had decided to conduct exploratory research into the topic and had put a call out to prisoners for information.

The resulting deluge of letters--many of which included compelling firsthand descriptions such as this--convinced us that the issue merited urgent attention. Rape, by prisoners' accounts, was no aberrational occurrence; instead it was a deeply-rooted, systemic problem. It was also a problem that prison authorities were doing little to address.

The present report--the product of three years of research and well over a thousand inmate letters--describes the complex dynamics of male prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse in the United States. The report is an effort to explain why and how such abuse occurs, who commits it and who falls victim to it, what are its effects, both physical and psychological, how are prison authorities coping with it and, most importantly, what reforms can be instituted to better prevent it from occurring.

The Scope of this Report This report is limited in scope to male prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse in the United States.

It does not cover women prisoners, nor does it cover the sexual abuse of male prisoners by their jailers. Human Rights Watch investigated the problem of custodial sexual misconduct in U.

An initial review of the topic convinced us that it involved myriad issues that were distinct from the topic at hand, which is complicated enough in itself. Even though the notices that Human Rights Watch circulated to announce our research on prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse were written in gender-neutral language, we received no information from women prisoners regarding the problem.

As prison experts are well aware, penal facilities for men and women tend to differ in important respects. If the problem of prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse exists in women's institutions--a possibility we do not exclude--it is likely to take somewhat different forms than in men's prisons.

Sexual assault in jail is common and brutal | News | National | M&G

Many of these prisoners did, however, describe sexual abuses they had suffered when previously held in jails, allowing us to gather some information on the topic. Nonetheless, the bulk of our prisoner testimonies and documentation--and all of the information we collected from state authorities--pertain specifically to prisons.

Already, with fifty separate state prison jurisdictions in the United States, the task of collecting official information was difficult; obtaining such information from the many thousands of local authorities responsible for city and county jails would have been infinitely more so.

Yet we should emphasize that our lack of specific research on jails should be not interpreted as suggesting that the problem does not occur there. Although little research has been done on sexual assault in jails, the few commentators who have examined the topic have found the abuse to be similarly or even more prevalent there.For example, Lukas Muntingh, prisons expert director of the University of the Western Cape Law Clinic, found that sexual assault in prison is "regrettably common".

Highest bidder. Human Rights Watch investigated the problem of custodial sexual misconduct in U.S. women's prisons in two previous reports and the issue has been a continuing focus of our U.S.

advocacy efforts. Apr 29,  · Sexual assault is a term that gets refracted through the culture wars, as Slate’s own Emily Bazelon explained in a story about the terminology of rape. Feminists claimed the more legalistic term.

That prisons routinely house thousands upon thousands of instances of sexual exploitation and rape is at the very least tolerated, and at most subtly appreciated as part of their punitive purpose. A second Chinese professor has been sacked by his university after allegations of historic sexual misconduct were made, as China's own brand of .

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No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons - Predators and Victims