Sexual assault in prison: vulnerable women prisoners have few protections and face reprisal for reporting attacks

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It’s difficult to know where to begin to unpack all that is terrifying and frustrating about this case. The persistent myth that women make false rape accusations undoubtedly contributed to mishandling and dismissal of the women’s serious complaints. We know from Robyn Doolittle’s stellar investigative reporting that police in Canada dismiss one in five reported sexual assaults as “unfounded.” Stereotypes and misogyny drive the medicalization and silencing of women’s legitimate anger at systemic mistreatment. There is evidence women prisoners experience disproportionate punishment for insubordinate and uncooperative behaviour. And so it is not surprising that these women’s complaints were ignored.

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Grace Szucs