Stephen Donaldson has served as president of Stop Prisoner Rape since 1988. He is also a rape counselor, trained by the Rape Crisis Program of St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City, and has served as chair of the Committee on Male Survivors of Rape of the NYC Task Force Against Sexual Assault.
As president of SPR, he has written op-eds for The New York Times and USA Today , and was featured recently on “60 Minutes” in a segment on prisoner rape.
Stop Prisoner Rape, Inc. (SPR) is a nonprofit organization based in New York City dedicated to combating the problem of prisoner rape. SPR maintains an extensive and award-winning World Wide Web site that contains, among other things, graphic and uncensored accounts of actual rapes, written by the victims themselves. The accounts are usually presented in the form of letters written in “street language” and using a vocabulary which might be considered “indecent” or “offensive.”
The purpose of SPR is to provide education, information and advocacy regarding sexual assaults in the nation’s prisons, jails, and juvenile institutions. It provides encouragement and advice to survivors, as well as counseling, information and legal support. In 1995, “Impact Online,” which gives awards for outstanding nonprofit Internet sites, named the Stop Prisoner Rape site as one of the 30 best nonprofit sites on the Web and the best for prison issues. In January 1996, Internet by Point Survey designated the site as one of the “Top 5% of the Web.” The SPR site receives about 5,000 electronic visits a week.
SPR believes it is essential to allow minors, who are among the most likely victims of rape behind bars, to continue to access this site. A significant portion of the SPR site includes recollections of individuals who were raped as minors while incarcerated with adults or in juvenile detention centers. The sharing of these experiences is invaluable to the many minors who have been imprisoned or who may be considering a lifestyle which would greatly increase their risk of incarceration. Facing up to the realities of sexual assault and the particular targeting of youths for rape may induce second thoughts, the group believes, about future criminal activities.
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