Survivor Stories

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.

  • Tabitha is a transgender woman who has been sexually assaulted by fellow prisoners at several men’s prisons throughout New York State. She has never gotten a response for reporting the abuse, and was even raped once while trying to file a grievance.


  • Valjean Royal is a transgender woman who has survived multiple sexual assaults since she was first detained as a 17-year-old. She has endured sexual abuse in county jails and in state and federal prisons.


  • After being raped by two of her room mates at a Texas county jail, Soaring Eagle became a Peer Educator to share her story and to help other prisoners. Her testimony is dedicated to Rodney Hulin, a teenage Texas prisoner who killed himself after being repeatedly raped in an adult prison.

  • Adam is an openly gay prisoner who was gang raped and sexually assaulted by detainees at the New Orleans Parish Prison over a period of two months in 2009. During those two months, Adam filed repeated emergency grievances and requested protective custody, but was denied. He agreed to have this testimony read at the Department of Justice’s Review Panel on Prisoner Rape in 2011.

  • Pedro, who has spent nearly all of his adult life behind bars, was raped by his cellmate after being transferred to a new housing unit. Pedro was devastated, but with support from JDI, he is beginning to heal. Read Pedro’s letter to other people who have lived through this abuse.