A New South Wales sistergirl has spoken out about being raped in two juvenile correctional centres in the 1990s.
Worimi woman Elytta Manton was as a teenager sentenced to a term in Sydney’s Cobham Juvenile Justice Centre for boys, ABC News has reported.
“They didn’t know where to house me, so they put me in a quadrangle in the boys’ home,” said Manton.
“I didn’t feel safe, I thought something was wrong and something was going to happen.
“Within 15 minutes, my room was full of 15 boys and they did the most hideous things that anyone could endure.
“They knocked me to the ground and raped me and left me lying in a pool of blood.”
After the alleged attack, Manton was transferred to Yasmar Juvenile Justice Centre for girls, where she was again raped—by a male guard.
“He raped me and bashed me and left me lying in the toilet,” she said.
“It was one of the female workers who came down to check on me that raised the alarm.”
Manton said prison staff at the time pressured her not to report the assaults, but she had recently been prompted by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to make a report.
Juvenile Justice New South Wales is now investigating the alleged rapes.
Liz Ceissman from the Sydney Gender Centre, who regularly visits trans prisoners as a case worker, said she hopes the investigation raises awareness of the dangers trans people face in prison.
“Hopefully Elytta gets closure and recognition of what happened to her, but also a recognition that there needs to be more inclusion, support and better pathways of assisting trans people to survive [jail],” she said.
“You certainly don’t thrive in jail or survive the corrections system in a way that at least levels your safety to that of other inmates.
“The existing system of protecting people, I don’t think necessarily works.”
Ceissman said laws around how trans inmates are housed vary around Australia, but are most progressive in New South Wales, where individuals can be housed according to their correct gender and can receive hormone therapy.