Survivor Stories

JDI has made only minor edits for spelling and clarity. Please note that some of these stories are graphic and may be difficult to read.

  • One day in 1986, in the Louisiana town where I grew up, a police officer drove up beside me as I was walking home from my grandparents’ house. The officer asked me a series of questions. Then he asked me if I would like a ride home. He said I could sit in the front seat. I knew his entire family, and I had never been in a police car before, so I didn’t feel I was in any danger. At that time my perception of police officers was positive.

  • James was sexually assaulted many times by his cellmate while corrections officials turned a blind eye. He was only able to escape his abuser by telling staff that he was suicidal.

  • A power-obsessed prison worker abused Jan and many other inmates for years before he was caught. Years later, Jan and hundreds of female state prisoners settled a class action suit with Michigan for over $100 million after a jury found that prison officials for years ignored cases of rape, sexual advances, and groping by staff.

  • 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.

  • Matthew was raped by his cellmate. After years of suffering alone, Matthew reached out to his local rape crisis center and, with the help of two dedicated victim advocates, is on the path to healing.