Stop asking ex-prisoners "if it's true what they say happens in jail"

Vancouver comedian Mark Hughes argues our casual attitude to rape in prison shows a huge cultural blind spot.
(CBC)
Listen3:46

Most people aren't asked, in casual conversation, whether they have been raped. But because Vancouver comedian Mark Hughes is an ex-prisoner, he's asked that question all the time. He says that casual attitude towards prison rape reveals a huge blind spot in conversations about rape culture.

Statistics about rape in prison are often left out of general sexual assault statistics, but the United States Department of Justice estimates approximately 200,000 inmates were sexually abused in 2011, either by fellow inmates or guards. Some researchers argue the under-reporting of prison rape statistics has led society to significantly underestimate the number of male victims of sexual assault. 

Click the blue button to hear Mark's radio essay. A longer version of his essay can be found on his blog.