Thabo (not his real name) went to prison when he was just 21 years old and was repeatedly raped during the decade he spent behind bars. Thabo attempted suicide but was not successful, unlike three other inmates he knew who were raped then took their own lives. Experiencing serious trauma and shame, Thabo struggles to interact with people. He says he came back from prison with a lesson and an illness (HIV). The biggest weight he has carried is that nobody in his family knows what happened to him. He urges youth to stay away from crime so that “unlike me, you can reach your dreams”.
These stories were produced by Sonke Gender Justice, Just Detention International – SA and NICRO, with funding from the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, the MAC AIDS Fund of the Tides Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. Thanks to Community Media for Development and Digital Storytelling South Africa for creating and editing the stories. Most of all, thank you to these courageous survivors.