Transgender woman says she was sexually assaulted 2,000 times in male prison
An anonymous transgender woman has opened up to an Australian news site about the harsh realities of life in a male prison, claiming that she was sexually assaulted around 2,000 times in a four-year period.
Referred to as Mary, the former prisoner has spoken about what happened her while incarcerated in Queensland’s Boggo Road prison.
According to Mary, she was raped once a day, sometimes more.
Upon her arrival in the prison, news spread that Mary was transgender. She said:
“You are basically set upon with conversations about being protected in return for sex. They are either trying to manipulate you or threaten you into some sort of sexual contact and then, once you perform the requested threat of sex, you are then an easy target as others want their share of sex with you, which is more like rape than consensual sex."
Mary said she often had sex with prisoners for fear of being otherwise beaten. “It makes you feel sick but you have no way of defending yourself,” she said.
During her four-year sentence, Mary claims she was subjected to over 2,000 sexual acts.
“It was rape, and yes I was flogged and bashed to the point where I knew I had to do it in order to survive, but survival was basically for other prisoners’ pleasure. It was hell on earth, it was as if I died and this was my punishment.”
Mary said there was a fellow transgender prisoner who was also targeted. And although she was released, a breach of her probation meant she was at risk of returning to the prison.
“She was eventually released but was arrested for breaching parole and she hung herself so she didn’t have to go back to prison,” Mary said.
Currently, only transgender people who have had reassignment surgery can be placed prisons aligned with their chosen gender. But Mary believes those who identify as female should be placed in female prisons. She said:
“You’ve seen a psychiatrist, been approved to be on hormones and that takes two years. I look like a woman and I think if a transgender person is genuine and they are living as the opposite sex, then they should be housed in a female prison, even if you’re in a wing on your own You shouldn’t be subjected to sexual assault. You are serving a punishment for an error you made in your life.”
Read Mary’s full story here.