Survivor Stories




My name is Jayde and I am a mixed race, Native American, lesbian, transwoman. My story sheds light on corrupt and predatory law enforcement officers, who are supposed to protect, not victimize. The incident started while I was walking into a Colorado park at night, in 2002. I was just coming out as transgender and gay, and I was wearing a neon-pink halter top and a purple knee-length skirt.

An officer stopped me, alleging that I had jaywalked. He asked if I had done so intentionally. I told him that I did not realize I had jaywalked at all. He then pat searched me, and in the process he painfully groped me between my legs, stating that I wasn’t a real woman, and to “stop acting.” Then he cuffed me, and told me that I broke the law, so I was going to jail — simply for jaywalking.

However, rather than take me to jail, he told me that I needed to learn an important lesson on how “real” women are dealt with. He drove into an abandoned industrial area, and got me out of the car. I was then bent over the hood of the car, still in handcuffs, and raped repeatedly for over an hour. After he was finally done he proceeded to brutally beat me and taser me. He kept repeating that I deserved all this for pretending to be a woman. Then he took my state ID card, which had my home address on it, and threatened to kill me if I even thought about reporting what he’d done to me. I was then left in a pool of my own blood.

I was later discovered by a homeless woman and rushed to the emergency room in an ambulance.  Against my wishes, the police were called on my behalf. The same officer who raped me responded to the call. Out of fear, I refused to speak to him. I refused to allow a rape kit. After nearly three weeks of hospitalization, I finally left and moved away.

Because I was outwardly portraying the image of a woman — a transwoman — I seemed to be a convenient target for the officer that day. I’m extremely paranoid and distrustful of law enforcement officials. I still have severe anxiety, depression, panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks, low self-esteem, and self-hatred.