End Silence: Youth Speaking Up about Sexual Abuse in Custody

The title of this post is the title of a series of new graphic novels for youth in custodial settings from the Project on Addressing Prison Rape.

These graphic novels are a first step in reaching out to youth in juvenile justice settings in order to help them identify, address, and respond to incidents of sexual abuse by staff or other youth. They are intended to deepen the dialogue about strategies to eliminate sexual abuse of youth in custody. The graphic novels are intended to be “stand alone” material to orient and educate youth about the issue of sexual abuse in custodial settings and to provoke discussions with and between youth.

A facilitators guide [forthcoming June 2012] will also accompany these books and will include a glossary of terms, additional discussion questions for each book, a guide on how to use the graphic novels, a considerations checklist before using the books as training materials, advice on how to prepare for disclosures and additional resources. If you plan to use these books for training prior to the release of the facilitator’s guide please feel free to email The Project on Addressing Prison Rape with questions at endsilence@wcl.american.edu.

The Project and the National Institute of Corrections also has developed a full curriculum and facilitator’s guide on how best to address sexual abuse of youth in custody — both staff abuse of youth and youth abuse of other youth.

The goal of this 36-hour training program is to educate legal and juvenile justice professionals about:

  1. Effective prevention and responses to sexual abuse of youth in custody.
  2. The impact of training components on successful prevention and responses to

    sexual abuse of youth in custody.

  3. The impact of training components on all actors within the system including

    (administrators, youth, line-staff, volunteers, contractors, investigators, advocates, law enforcement and prosecutors).

The objectives of the training are to ensure that participants are able to:

  1. Understand the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) and identify its

    relevance to juvenile justice actors.

  2. Identify components of adolescent development, sexuality and facility culture and understand their impact on sexual abuse of youth in custody.
  1. Understand a comprehensive approach to responding to sexual abuse of youth in custody.
  2. Understand legal and investigative implications and strategies to responding to staff sexual abuse of youth in custody.
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About Tamar Birckhead

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One Response to End Silence: Youth Speaking Up about Sexual Abuse in Custody

  1. Dear Tbirckhe,
    Thanks for the above, Today is DAY OF SILENCE
    It is to show your support of hating discrimination towards gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders, by being silent today. DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THE DAY OF SILENCE?!

    read this.

    silent for Lawrence King
    Please understand my reason for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence , a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbians, gay, bisaxual and transgender people and their allies.My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT bullying, name-calling and harassment. This year’s DOS is held in memory of Lawrence King, a 15 year old student who was killed in school because of his sexual orientation and expression. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today.


    Catch you again soon!