Transgender woman allegedly sexually assaulted in men’s prison

Transgender woman allegedly sexually assaulted in men’s prison

A transgender woman in Canada was allegedly sexually assaulted by other inmates and was bullied by staff for her gender identity in a men’s prison.

Hayden Patterson has filed human rights complaints against two separate institutions. She claims that, in the first institution, Surrey Pretrial Services Centre, she was sexually assaulted and had her gender identity disregarded by staff.

In the second institution—Alouette Correction Centre for women, where she currently resides—she allegedly lives with a series of “restrictions on how she may express her gender.”

Details of Patterson’s alleged mistreatment were released when she applied to have both complaints heard at the same time. The application was rejected, as reported by CBC News.

Hayden Patterson claims she was accused of ‘lying’ about being transgender

In the released papers, it is alleged that—while in Surrey Pretrial—Patterson told the Deputy Warden that she was transgender, but he told her it was “bulls**t” and said she was “lying.” The deputy warden also allegedly said she was “not a suitable candidate” for a transfer to a women’s prison.

After she had disclosed her gender identity, she claims she was placed on a unit where she was bullied and sexually assaulted by other inmates.

“Ms Patterson alleges that Surrey Pretrial discriminated against her as a transgender woman in the manner which she was treated by its staff as well as the delay in transferring her to a female institution.”

– Devyn Cousineau

Staff also allegedly refused to call her by her preferred pronouns and denied her requests to be frisked by a female officer.

Furthermore, the complaint alleges that she was denied a transfer to a women’s prison for almost six months—even though a doctor had already recommended her for a transfer.

Patterson also claims that staff at the institution made “harassing comments” to her about her gender identity.

Transgender woman allegedly sexually assaulted in men’s prison

Trans flag (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty)

She could be sent back to a men’s prison if she breaks her ‘behaviour contract’

Meanwhile, in Alouette Correction Centre, Patterson claims she has a “behaviour contract” with the institution which sets restrictions on how she can express her gender identity.

Released papers claim that if Patterson breaks the terms of her behaviour contract, she could have her freedom further restricted, and could even be transferred to a men’s prison.

In a third further complaint—which is also against Surrey Pretrial—Patterson claims she was also discriminated against for her Jewish identity as the prison refused to provide kosher meals.

In that complaint, Patterson claims she has identified as Jewish since she was 15 years old.

She was also 15 years old when she was kicked out of her home by her adoptive parents and was homeless for the next five years. Patterson believed that her birth mother may have been Jewish.

The papers that have been released do not make it clear what Patterson was incarcerated for.

Her complaint against Alouette is scheduled to be heard on 24 June 2019, with no date set as of yet for her case against Pretrial Services Centre.

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General in British Columbia declined to comment when contacted by PinkNews.

A similar case gained attention in the US last year when transgender woman Strawberry Hampton alleged that she had been sexually assaulted in a men’s prison. Earlier this year, she was finally moved to a women’s prison, where she said she finally feels “safe.”