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Anti Rape


Human Rights-
Sex Work-
Dating Violence-
Child Abuse-
Legal Issues-
Prison Rape

Discussions of prison rape are useful to help men understand the power dynamics of rape and the state of fear and vulnerability in which the powerless live. Recent studies by Human Rights Watch and Prison Journal magazine estimate that at least one-fifth of the nation's 2 million inmates have either been raped or forced to perform sex acts during incarceration.

Bear in mind that the US incarcerates 1/5th of the world's prisoners. Approximately two million Americans are now serving either prison or jail time, over one million of them for non-violent offenses.


Is prison rape cruel and unusual punishment?

Is it a human rights violation?

What is the role of prisons in our society? What does the tolerance of prison rape suggest about our view of the rights of those in prison?

There is an argument that prison guards and officials tolerate rape in order to maintain a hierarchy of control among the inmates. Do you believe this to be true?

Rape in prison is often deemed a homosexual act. Studies and interviews with prisoners, however, insist that prison rapists are almost always heterosexual men who do not view their acts of sexual aggression as homosexual. Instead, they see them as satisfying sexual needs and affirming their physical power. As Diane describes in the film, "Rape is about power and control. This is especially visible in cases of prison rape where men use sex to dominate, control and humiliate other men. They even use gender epithets, negative terms aimed at women, to refer to their victims." What do you think about the gender dynamics of prison rape? How does this understanding contribute to your view of rape outside of prison? Can you see the same power/control issues in other forms of rape?


Links to support resources and activism information on prison rape


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Teens 16 to 19 are three
and one-half times more
likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape
or sexual assault.

Source: National Crime
Victimization Survey.
Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 1996.