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Old 12-14-2007, 02:50 AM
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northstar northstar is offline

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Default Powerless in Prison: Sexual Abuse Against Incarcerated Women

Powerless in Prison: Sexual Abuse Against Incarcerated Women

Nicole Summer, RH Reality Check on December 11, 2007 - 9:17am

While guard-on-prisoner sexual assault is common, putting a number on the instances is difficult because so many assaults are unreported. As with sexual assault on the outside, many survivors in prison are ashamed and embarrassed to come forward, fear that their claim will be hard to prove or fear that their attackers will retaliate. In prison the fear of retaliation is heightened, as the prisoner continues to live with her attacker controlling her daily life. And inmates who report a sexual assault are frequently put in segregated isolation, ostensibly to protect them from retaliation, but this isolation can be emotionally and physically draining, and well, terribly isolating. And many women in prison have been sexually abused in the past, before they were incarcerated, or are accustomed to using sex to get what they want, on the inside or the outside. "A lot of women don't view it as abuse," says Deborah Golden, staff attorney at the D.C. Prisoners' Project of the Washington Lawers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. About 80 percent of women inmates have already experienced some kind of sexual or physical abuse before prison, says Sarah From, director of public policy and communications at the Women's Prison Association.

Despite the widespread underreporting, some statistics exist. First, there are about 200,000 women incarcerated in the U.S. (in federal, state, local and immigration detention settings), a number that is growing exponentially and that makes up about 10 percent of the total prison population. Amnesty International reports that in 2004, a total of 2,298 allegations of staff sexual misconduct against both male and female inmates were made, and more than half of these cases involved women as victims, a much higher percentage than the 10 percent that women comprise of the total prison population. It can vary from institution to institution, but in the worst prison facilities, one in four female inmates are sexually abused in prison, says Stannow.

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Old 12-15-2007, 02:26 PM
biglinmarshall biglinmarshall is offline

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Dear Northstar,

This is appalling. A friend of mine was raped and sexually abused in prison as well as brutally beaten. She attempted suicide.

I feel VERY strongly on this subject as I do on ALL issues of prisoner's rights and well-being.
'I beseech you, consider it possible that you may be wrong' (Oliver Cromwell)
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