Survivor Stories


New York


My name is John and I am a 22 year-old gay man who is 5’10”, 135 pounds. I have been raped twice in the last three years and sexually harassed for the past year and a half.

At age 17 I was in county jail doing time for a violation of probation. This was my first time in jail and did not know what to expect. I became friends with another inmate who was about 39 years old. What I did not know, at first, was that he only spoke to me because he wanted to have sex with me. Every time he asked, I told him, “No!”. At the time of the sexual assault I was taking pills to sleep. The morning of the sexual assault my cell opened and I was awakened when I felt some weight on my chest. When I opened my eyes I was naked and he was trying to make me give him oral sex. I grabbed a pen and tried to stab him and he pulled up his pants and ran out of my cell. Two days later, I told an officer whom I could trust, and was moved to a cell that had an officer around 24/7.

The last part of my story took place when I was 21. At that time I was in a state prison and was raped by a 53-year-old guy who could snap me in half. I was in the shower when he came in, already naked, with a condom on. He pushed me into the wall. I tried to talk him out of it, but it did not work. I then zoned out to another place until it was over. Ten months later, when I was nowhere around him, I reported what he had done.  An officer with the Inspector General came to see me and wrote up my complaint. The officer said she thought I was lying and threatened to put charges on me if I was. She was snotty about the whole thing and seemed not to care what happened or that I was still in shock and disbelief that this happened to me again.

She has not gotten back to me yet and it has been almost six months. I had thought it was my fault that these things were done to me, but since writing to JDI and reading their literature I have realized it was not my fault. I will make it through with help from JDI, my family, and my friends.

— John, New York