Diagnosed with Gender dysphoria, suffering Transphobic abuse with a sentence with no end date
I suppose I should count myself lucky. I was in prison and I knew the date I would get out. A friend of mine was not as lucky.
I saw with my own eyes Marie’s suffering, her misery. Some tasked with her safety used their position to torment her to the edge of despair. I was ignorant at the start of her suffering, she disappeared for a week and when she came back she was different, broken.
They took the most precious part of her, her dignity and tore it apart. The suffering didn’t end there; some prison officers continued their campaign of hate. Telling her that she was not the lady I had come to respect. She was just a man and they would tell everyone they can. Even singing outside her cell door, those exact words.
I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman in the wrong body and I’m sure as hell glad that I haven’t been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Witnessing firsthand the trauma that she went through tore me up so much I wanted to hurt her tormenters back.
But her suffering was far deeper than I really understood. For everyday that cell door shut she was no closer to release than at the start.
For she like over three thousand more are on a sentence that has no end, known as IPP. Her sentence should have ended before mine but it did not. The day I left she still had no idea when she would get out.
Nearly two and a half years have passed since I walked clear of that place and never looked back. The pain I saw in her face never left me, I never forgot. I studied hard and over time began to see the picture unfold, of how a country I once believed in could create such a merciless sentence that crushes people and destroys not just their soul but their heart.
I know so many have given up hope, they are so in despair that they cut, they drug up. What’s the point in life if you have no hope, no chance no fight.
That day came, the day she walked out. A day that I’m sure felt so unreal, the anxiety, the trauma and despair you would think would be over and life again would start.
Yet for those on IPP it is never over it just doesn’t stop.
Now she finds herself in a dream world, the fences have only got more difficult to see but they are never out of sight. Life in a ministry hostel isn’t really a life, it is merely a mirage.
Twelve hour curfews and signings every few hours; from a life so monotonous and boring to a race to get ID sorted, benefits and a chance of a life, but still just a slip up just one and you could be sent back.
Back to hell with no release date again, how can anyone cope with that? I know I couldn’t. I would end it there would be no doubt in that.
Yet she soldiers on still trying to put her life back on track. Racing to and fro, trying to never be late back, yet she’s not made it once and that’s sadly a fact. The clock is ticking, she tries hard to make it but sometimes she cannot.
Why do we torment people?
Why must we push human beings to the point that they are so desperate they end their life? I hope so much she makes it, so many have not. Back they go in handcuffs to a cell and a door with no handle that never leaves your consciousness and torments you even when you’re out.
Her sentence is abhorrent; it makes me sick to my stomach. I hate it, she is no monster and neither are any of the people I have met. They are human, as are we all are we not? IPP Inexcusable, persistent persecution. Will she make it you may ask? You tell me?
While this sentence still breaths many on it will stop. We must end this sentence; there is no excuse, no public protection purpose in persecuting people and destroying their soul, their lives their families. Our culture is based on freedom and self determination. Let’s end this sentence and NEVER look back.
"It is time to give people a chance of a life back".
By: Jez Owen
Transgender and gender nonconforming people,face unacceptably high rates of imprisonment.
Once in prison, transgender people face a dramatically increased risk of mistreatment, including sexual assault by officers or other prisoners. Recent studies show that transgender women are 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted in prison than others. Transgender people in prison also routinely face other abuses including denial of medical care, extended periods of solitary confinement, and harassment and violence at the hands of guards and other prisoners
A 21year old woman, from Keighley, was found dead in her cell at HMP Leeds in 2015 with a ligature around her neck. The overall coordination of her mental and health state were lacking in any form of organisational structure.
Miss Thompson's family solicitor Philip Goldberg said: "Vikki's mother remains deeply distressed by the loss of her daughter, yet hopes that if any good is to come of her death it's that the Ministry of Justice also undertakes a completeover overhaul.