Around the world, transgender women face routine abuse and sexual assault in correctional centers. Now, one woman is bravely speaking out, revealing that she was raped more than 2,000 times in an Australian all-male prison. Read on below.
Mary’s story. Recently, a transgender woman revealed she was “raped more than 2000 times” while serving time for stealing a car at a men’s prison in Queensland, Australia, during the 90s. The woman, known as Mary (not her real name), told Australia’s news.com.au she was assaulted on a daily basis during her four years spent at the penitentiary. The news outlet reports that she was subjected to sexual harassment by male inmates within her first hours at the all-male prison.
Mary’s story. Mary says the abuse was so bad that she would “rather die than go to prison ever again.” She told news.com.au: “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’s story. While Mary admits that stealing a car was wrong and that she deserved jail time, “in her mind, she was a female and yearned to be treated as such,” news.com.au reports. Seemingly, she couldn’t understand why she was placed in the all-male prison to begin with. Or left to suffer such heinous abuse.
Mary’s story. Mary recounts her first hours in the jail’s reception to news.com.au, stating that she was ordered to strip almost immediately after arriving at the facility. “The stares were menacing her as she turned around for a routine body check,” news.com.au reports. “By time Mary had made it to her holding cell, news had travelled through the prison that she was transgender.” And seemingly, the prison had no system in place — or morality — to protect the trans woman.
Mary’s story. There were days where Mary was put into a cell for inmates who needed protection. However, even then she said she was assaulted. “It makes you feel sick but you have no way of defending yourself,” she told news.com.au.
Mary’s story. During her first days as inmate, Mary revealed that she did, in fact, try to defend herself by pushing prisoners off her. However, she was beaten time and time again. “Each time I said no and tried to push them away, they just force you and it’s not just one or two people, there’s a bunch of them,” she said.
Mary’s story. Mary did eventually meed a friend: a fellow transgender women who was also a target of sexual harassment. But Mary’s friend was not able to cope with the abuse she faced in 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.
Mary’s story. The Telegraph reports that while a post-operative male-to-female transgender woman would be put in a women’s prison, the same does not apply to pre-operative transgender women. Mary believes this law should change, and that those who identify as female should have the same rights. “You’ve seen a psychiatrist, been approved to be on hormones and that takes two years,” she said. “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.”
Mary’s story. Bottom line? No one should ever face sexual assault, no matter the circumstance. “You shouldn’t be subjected to sexual assault,” Mary says. You are serving a punishment for an error you made in your life.” She adds: “We are human beings and most of us were born this way and we want to just live our lives but are ridiculed by society because we have the guts to be who we are.”