Rape in Prison

Rape in prison is a difficult subject to write about. Rape is something I do not wish on my worst enemy. But the reality is that it happens so much and sometimes to the degree that it makes me nauseous. A lot of people think it is mostly women who are victims of rape, it would surprise you that in recent years the statics have changed, and a lot of men are rape victims as well. It breaks my heart that people would do that to another human being. Even if you are a serial killer on death row, they do not deserve to be raped. Some individuals in prison have endured hard times and are most of the times physiologic scarred.

I will tell you more about people that went through this terrible ordeal and a little about prison rape statistics. I have thought about not writing about this, but it is important to talk about it and the victims that went through the ordeal to help other people through this difficult time in their lives on how to cope with being raped.  It is important to keep in mind that serial killers deserve humanity and I know that opens up a whole other story that they do not deserve anything and think about the victims and their family.

We cannot change the past, but we can make a difference in the future. Prison rape is real, and sometimes it is the person that is in prison for petty theft or something small that suffers the most.

In prison, there are two kinds of people the weaklings and the bullies. Some people can change and become strong other people is not strong enough and is victims of rape and torture for years until it breaks them. So much so that prisoners would feel the best way out is to take their own lives or start self-harming.

A lot of prisons have systems in place to give counseling to prisoners, I think because of the overcrowded prisons there are not enough people to help the prisoners, and some prisoners just fell through the cracks as the demand is too high.

I feel the community should make more of an effort to help. It is easy to just forget about the killer and burglar in jail. I mean, why should anyone care right they put themselves there? Just remember that all of the above is true, a lot of the killers in prisons try hard to make amends and even though they cannot bring anyone back, they sometimes do other things to make a difference.

Here are some stories of prisoners that were raped:

This prisoner story begins in November of 2010. He was a disabled prisoner with one leg, and he knew that he would have a difficult time. In the beginning, it was not so bad, but then the gang in prison that operated at that stage started to notice the first time prisoner. Two of the Surenos gang members called the SUR13’s forced him to have sex with them. He said no, and in the same instance he knew that he could not out run them, they hit him with a pad-lock in a sock against his temple, it knocked him out. When he came to, he was naked in the porter’s closet with white stuff over his face and behind.

He wanted to report the raped, but after he had spoken to the officer in charge, he decided not to talk. The officer told him that if he talks about the gang rape, they will kill him.

While this prisoner was on his way to his Christian Church, the same two members of the gang grabbed him and pushed his wheelchair around. He started to scream, the next thing he knows they held a knife to his throat and told him that he must be quite or else they will kill him. Since he did not want to die, he kept quiet and did what they told him.

They told him to take of all his clothes and go on his hands and knees. The older one of the gang started to rape him when he started to scream the younger one put his penis in his mouth. I cannot imagine what pain and disgust must have gone through his mind. This continued for two weeks, and he still has nightmares of how they forced him to do things.

A person can only take so much, and this prisoner had reached his threshold. He was so angry that he punched the first officer he saw so hard that he broke his nose. He was put in segregation pending a disciplinary hearing. The prisoner was finally placed in a Supermax Segregation Custody. He did two and a half years in Supermax Lockdown. He was transferred to a new facility called Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility. The prisoner is currently in this prison and has already served three years.

He has tried his best to look forward in life, but he is scared of life. He keeps on having flashbacks of how he was raped and now struggles with relationships. It makes prison life so much harder having to cope with emotional scars as well. He hopes that by telling his story that he can help someone else.

Thabo is a South African prisoner. He was twenty-one years old when he went to prison. Thabo was raped repeatedly during the decade that he was behind bars. He tried to commit suicide but had a failed attempt. Three of his friends in prison who was also the victims of rape took their own lives. After being raped so many times the trauma and shame cause problems interacting with people which are understandable.

Thabo contracted the HIV virus while being raped. He said that he learned a valuable lesson, if he did not commit a crime he would not have been in that situation. And he urges the young people to stay away from crime so that they can one day achieve their dreams.

Vincent was awaiting trial in an overcrowded prison cell in the Western Cape in South Africa. It was Vincent’s first sexual experience, this is not what he had in mind for his first time, that is what he was thinking while he was being repeatedly raped in prison.

Vincent tried his best by reaching out to nurses, wardens, social workers, priests and even the magistrate. None of those people helped him and some of them even told him to toughen up, that is what you can expect in prison. Now come on. At least one of those people could have helped him right? But it is easier to look the other way.

Some people see it as a burden to help people and only help people if it is their last resort. Three years after his ordeal he was sentenced and only then he received medical attention. Vincent found out that he was HIV-positive as a result of the rape. And to think this could have been prevented if only the people he asked for help just stop and listen to him. Vincent has called the department of correctional services to take measures so that it does not happen to other prisoners. He hopes that it gives other survivors courage to speak about their experiences.

In the US prisons, more men than women are raped

In the US prisons, more men than women are raped according to the figures. 2008 was one of the worst years with over 216,000 inmates that were raped and sexually abused.

One of the new prison regulations is that no male prison guard can do pat downs on women prisoners. The new rule change comes ten years after the Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Under the terms of the act, prisons are required to have a zero-tolerance policy towards rape behind bars.We all know that is does not happen. Maybe in a perfect world but there is so much corruption everywhere. It is difficult for people that really follow the law in every aspect to prevail. An interesting report found that there is a lot of female prison staff that assault male prisoners. I guess some women think there is nothing wrong assaulting a male he is a strong guy. Who cares what he thinks and feels?

The government feels so strongly about this act that if a prison does not comply and implement these regulations, they will lose five present of their federal funding for their prison. Funding is necessary as all the prisoners need to have three meals a day, and all the staff has wages at the end of the month that need to be paid. So even with all the corruption, there needs to be some sort of control in prison. It might also explain why some of the prisons are in such terrible conditions, as there is no funding for maintenance and upgrades.

Prisons could also face civil court cases from victims. I was thinking about this the other day in a way a prison do not have to have a good name as you cannot choose to be in whatever prison you like. It’s not like a hotel that you can say, I want to live there, and they have three or five stars. I do agree that they need to be civil.

The Bureau of Justice produced figures that were shocking. Sexual abuse is as high as 9.5 percent between 2011 and 2012. The high rape figure is mostly among gay, lesbian and mentally ill inmates. A staggering low number of only nine percent of accusations made by men resulted in a conviction.

Final thoughts about rape in prison

The reason why some of the prisons have high rape victims is that there is no proper control over the prisoners and the prison staff condones abuse and rape. There is a stigma in jail about rape if you are not in a gang or if you do not threaten everyone you will be subjected to unwanted rape and abuse. The government is on the right track, and I think there should be more control over prisons. If they could have regular check-ups to ensure that the prison still operates under the guidelines of the act? Or if people just cared more. Only then will we see a drastic improvement.

http://prisonwriters.com/raped-in-prison/
http://www.genderjustice.org.za/policy-development-advocacy/prisons-transformation-policy-reform-advocacy-and-accountability/survivors-prisoner-rape-tell-stories-first-time
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449454/More-men-raped-US-women-including-prison-sexual-abuse.html
https://mg.co.za/article/2015-05-13-male-prison-rape-survivors-speak-out

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