Canadian Women Speak Out
The following five accounts are from women held in women’s prisons throughout Canada:
When I was serving time in a woman’s federal prison I had my share of experience with trans prisoners. I never saw them as different, as a threat, as less than and I still don’t just to be clear. In fact I became friends with one. That particular friendship became strained when the person became physical and assaultive toward other female inmates.
Prior to her conviction she had been living as a man for 40 years and transitioned to a [woman] just before her crime, which was extremely violent. Once convicted and sentenced she was sent to a women’s federal prison where she became a ‘lesbian’ and eventually married the other prisoner. Once during an altercation that was ignited by her relationship, I watched her, the trans [prisoner] who was once a very, very large man who was still large and had a big booming voice, actually knock the other female inmate unconscious with one punch. Later on, other females came with weapons to stop the assault and guards intervened. [The trans prisoner] was briefly put in [segregation], told she would be shipped out if she put her hands on another woman again. Who knows if it ever happened again what I witnessed, but it was very scary to witness, as in my childhood I watched my father physically assault my mother and I felt so helpless. This incident none the less triggered me.
I did have a few other experiences with trans who had been transferred from the men’s [penitentiary] after surgery. Both were violent sex offenders who preyed on the women in the [prison] population. One in particular was put into [segregation] for allegations of rape then re-released into the [general prison] population to which he (or she) started a relationship with other sex offenders in the yard and they had to be moved into other living units after people complained of the sexual acts happening in adjoining rooms and a dispute over contracting the herpes virus made news around the inmate population.
Another incident was when I joined a volunteer appreciation social event with my young child and was told by a guard on the low down that there was an extremely violent child sex offender present who hadn’t been in the presence of a young child in a very long time. His victim was a 3-month old boy and mine was around the same age and a boy as well, and they were unsure of how he (or she) would react. Needless to say I wanted to leave ASAP and they never told me which [prisoner] it was, so I sat in a corner until we left and didn’t mingle or get up to get food as I wanted to. Once I was informed of the sick and brutal nature of the specific crime against the child, I regretted even going or letting that person set eyes on my child or be in the same room.
A few months after that, that individual was placed in the house next to the Mother Child Program House and got into several altercations as a result of him (or her) looming around the Child Program. At the time there was a very young boy there as well. These accusations of looming around the Child Program resulted in a dispute in which this trans inmate sex offender then literally picked up and threw a female inmate and charged after her once she was on the ground to continue the assault. Luckily guards intercepted, but they segregated the female inmate for inciting a reaction for confronting this trans inmate sex offender for his (or her) actions.
I speak from my own personal experience and perception not due to any grudge or dislike for trans individuals.
[Name redacted] did the same at FVI. Several complaints about sexual harassment and gropings and he was placed in [segregation] more than once because of this. There was even an order to have him shipped out due to this behaviour, but he was released soon after regardless.
Let me add my rant about the violent trans, or so-called trans [name redacted] prowling the mother and child houses yard and engaged in several sexual acts with numerous woman and being very sexually aggressive. Because of their presence in the yard, I told them I wouldn’t keep my child in the program unless I got my minimum. Just before his birth I got my minimum thank God. But a few months later they moved a few [trans prisoners] into our single building minimum which basically left me confined to my unit unless I was okay going into the leisure areas or anywhere besides my unit and being in their presence. They had zero restrictions in that manner for them. I was told if I didn’t like it, then not to go into those areas where they were. I spent lots of time on my unit with my child due to this.
It was so awkward for me. And I couldn’t be rude or aggressive or even give them dirty looks, or I’d get a bad report written about my attitude while in the mother child program. One [trans prisoner] leaned down and said “he’s so cute”. I almost lost my sh*t!! I was like, remember, parole in 3 months, just walk away.
I was recently released again and this is a common thing. It’s happening all the time in the women’s [prison] institutions across Canada. Like we don’t go in with enough ***ing trauma and issues from severe violence and exploitation. On top off the strip searches and every other way [the Correctional Service of Canada] violates your human rights, we are housed with men claiming to be trans when their real motive is something else. I could go on but I will end here. This [BS] needs to end. How the **** do we heal if we keep getting victimised?
This is real life stuff. It was happening when I was in and it’s going to continue to happen until people actually take a stand. When it mentioned the morning-after-pill being handed out, it’s not just a ‘story’. It happened, I was there. The “wo”man (who had a full grown beard and didn’t take hormones) lived in my house. He even tried to get with me on numerous different occasions. Not only was I disgusted, but I didn’t even feel safe walking to my room from the shower.
It is sad that CSC feels they need to protect the rights of Transgender women at the cost of putting actual women at risk. I am not sure, when the system stopped caring about the actual inmates it housed and put its own political agenda before our safety, but it’s happening each and every day in the women’s jails across Canada, and I have bore witness to it too many times.
I just was forced to live in a unit with a self proclaimed “transgender” who we will remain nameless. I don’t say it like that out of disrespect or transphobia, I am a lover of and member of the LGBTQI community and am friends with many trans people. However, the lack of protocol CSC has in place allows any man to proclaim trans status to be transferred to a women’s prison to do their time. This such individual, told me themselves that their presence at [redacted] was a coup and they were playing the system. I witness them have sexual relations with eight different women I was aware of, and causing such emotional chaos between some of the women (some were driven to attempted suicide, and violent attacks on this person).
This person thought is was a game to them and treated the women in the prison as toys to be played with; this should never be a situation women are stuck dealing with. We are already in a vulnerable and damaged situation, now we have to worry about being preyed upon by men who have no cares for our emotional well being. Prior to my release this individual was charged with sexual assault and harassment on a woman in our living unit. This never should have happened, it was just one event of many he was guilty of, he threw his own sh*t and p*ss at a woman out side his living unit one day because she called him a rat… women don’t do things like to each other and we never have. I have done over 20 years in jail and never seen anything quite like the things this individual did, and claimed to be a woman. No woman should be susceptive to that kind of living environment.