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Press2021-05-11T16:16:46-07:00

Breaking Code Silence statement in support of Chula Vista Safe

Breaking Code Silence is working tirelessly to end institutionalized child abuse in residential care facilities. It’s at the very core of our mission, and it’s why we stand beside Chula Vista Safe in demanding an end to the development of a new Acadia facility in the Eastlake/Rolling Hills Ranch Communities.

Facilities within the United States that promote themselves as “residential therapeutic care facilities” have had a long stained history of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect of the vulnerable children under their care. Often these facilities are unregulated, under regulated, or under enforced, providing opportunities for abuses to occur that often go unseen.

Acadia currently operates over 580 facilities within the U.S., with over 18,000 available beds in 40 states. Worldwide, they bring in $3 billion annually. They recently settled a court case for $17 million over an alleged billing scheme, the largest settlement in West Virginia history.

Between 2014 and 2018, Acadias Oasis facility near Phoenix had been investigated numerous times for allegations of abuse and neglect within that one singular facility. These reports also included forged documents, sexual abuse, failure to provide safe houseing for patients, runaways, suicide attempts, and understaffing. Acadia facilities can not only harm those within their walls, but pose a threat to the communities they are in and the children they are meant to help.

We stand with the concerned residents who make up the Chula Vista Safe community and strongly oppose the development of this Acadia facility.

Get involved and make your voice heard! Head over to http://tinyurl.com/OpposeAcadia and comment “Oppose” on the post.

Find out more about Chula Vista Safe at https://www.chulavistasafe.org

Find out more about Breaking Code Silence at http://www.breakingcodesilence.org

By |May 27, 2021|Categories: Advocacy, Awareness, Press Releases|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Breaking Code Silence statement in support of Chula Vista Safe

Student Dies by Suicide at the Grove School, a Boarding School for “Struggling Adolescents”

SUNDAY, MAY 23rd – This past week, a young girl took her own life while under the care of the Grove School, a therapeutic boarding school in Madison, CT. Full details have yet to be released; however, a current student at the school confirmed the incident on social media.

“We are still trying to process it,” the classmate said. “She was a friend and one of the nicest people I have ever gotten to know.”

This is the second suicide in the last few years, the first resulting in a lawsuit recently filed against Grove School. The suit brought action against the school for wrongful death as a result of their alleged negligence and poorly trained/unqualified staff.

The Grove School has made headlines in the past for various lawsuits, a coronavirus outbreak, and two students who went missing. The most recent lawsuit involved a teacher who was fired for posing semi-nude to support President Donald Trump. The Grove School was also hit with a lawsuit after a student was allegedly sexually assaulted.

In another suit, a student claimed that the Grove School used improper restraint procedures. According to the lawsuit, the child had threatened to kill himself while under the school’s care. Andrew Pullak, one of the three defendants named in the suit, is still listed on the Grove School’s website as an active staff member and therapist. The student’s attorney said Pullak punched the young man in the eye while restraining him.

As many facilities within the “Troubled Teen Industry” do, the Grove School promotes itself online as a therapeutic boarding school, accepting “bright but struggling adolescents.” Grove School holds enough space for 160 students with an average length of stay of 2 years. When contacted for comment, Kevin Davis, residential administrator at the Grove School, refused to answer our questions about the girl’s suicide. “We are not making any statements on that,” he said.

Breaking Code Silence is a recently formed, survivor-run nonprofit organization aimed at tackling the “Troubled Teen Industry.” Through advocacy, awareness, research, and legislation, Breaking Code Silence is building a network of survivor resources and funds to begin taking on these facilities and those at the helm of the abuse.

To find out how you can get involved, click here.

By |May 23, 2021|Categories: Advocacy, Awareness, Press Releases, Troubled Teen Industry|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Student Dies by Suicide at the Grove School, a Boarding School for “Struggling Adolescents”

Sequel – The Unlucky 13

Another Sequel Youth and Family Services facility has closed, marking the 13 closures for this for-profit troubled teen industry giant. Northern Illinois Academy is the latest closure since 2019.

There has been a long history of reports of abuse for Sequel Youth and Family Services, most notably a case out of Michigan, where Cornelius Fredriks was restrained by 6 adult male staff, piling on top of the 16-year-old, ultimately resulting in his death. The restraint was retaliation for throwing a sandwich. Cornelious laid lifeless in that cafeteria for 15 minutes before the school nurse eventually called 911.

Quite a number of Sequel facilities have had horrific allegations of abuse over the years.  Last year, survivors told NBC news that they were subjected to physical abuse and medical neglect, including a 14-year-old boy who had his head slammed into a wall. The child was then refused medical care.  Similar stories came out of Sequel facilities in Alabama in the NBC investigation, where survivors described being told to kill themselves or being taunted about sensitive subjects, such as one child’s deceased father.  Sequel also uses solitary confinement and pharmacological manipulation.

In 2019, a former staff member at a Sequel facility in Illinois was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child in the facility.

Despite its many allegations of physical and sexual abuse, Sequel continues to secure government funds and grants, as well as private funding, and is currently worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Many children are sent to these facilities from juvenile justice systems in other states.  These states currently pay between 250 – 800 USD per day, per child. Alabama Human Resources continues to pay Sequel 68 million USD per year for these children.

Sequel has now closed another facility after Illinois investigative authorities looked into abuse charges at their Northern Illinois Academy location. Many of the locations recently investigated have reported cases of sexual abuse, assualt, and innapropriate and often unlawful behavior by staff.

The closure came after a state-reviewed investigation of the facility found horrific conditions that included physical and psychological abuse.

Unfortunately, many of the children who were currently housed at the facility in Illinois are now being transferred to other Sequel facilities around the United States.

It has often been found that private run juvenile detention centers funnel kids into these programs after being closed or reaching capacity. After the closure of Mesabi Academy, St. Louis County, Wisconsin dispersed their detainees to other facilities both in state, and across state lines. Some of these minors ended up in Sequal facilities. These types of government partnerships are funneling tax payer dollars into privately-run facilities with little to no oversight.

Sequel currently has operating facilities in 20 different states.

Breaking Code Silence is a recently-formed, survivor-run nonprofit organization, aimed at tackling the ‘Troubled Teen Industry.’ Through advocacy, awareness, research, and legislation, Breaking Code Silence is building a network of survivor resources and funds to begin taking on these facilities and those at the helm of the abuse.

To find out how you can get involved, click here.

Missouri Law Passes – A Step Forward

TUESDAY, MAY 11TH – The Missouri State Senate has passed a state bill today (23-9), which provides government oversight for the state’s currently unregulated boarding schools. Many of these schools have recently come under fire for reports of child abuse, rape, neglect, and other crimes. Owners of one school have been charged with over 100 felony crimes this past week.(1)

This historic bill is the first in Missouri to target facilities within the ‘Troubled Teen Industry,’ a multi-billion dollar, nationwide industry, which profits off of vulnerable youth. Included under the umbrella of this industry is a variety of facilities, including: boot camps, behavioral modification facilities, conversion therapy programs, theraputic boarding schools, wilderness therapy programs, and rehabilitation programs. These facilities operate with little to no government oversight, with many slipping by under religious exemptions from the state.

The approved bill requires all faith-based facilities to register with the state, and to conduct federal criminal background checks on all staff and volunteers. The bill also includes a requirement that facilities adhere to all state fire, safety, and health regulations. The next steps for the bill are House approval, which is expected, then the Governor’s signature.

Programs within the ‘Troubled Teen Industry’ often use an assortment of seminars, behavior modification tactics, and forms of ‘therapy’ which are rooted in abusive cults, such as the notorious Synanon cult. These types of ‘attack therapy’ often leave the survivors of institutional child abuse with a myriad of long-term physical and psychological symptoms, such as nightmares, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, chronic depression, and other mental health problems.  In some cases, these tactics have even resulted in suicide.

Breaking Code Silence is a recently-formed, survivor-run nonprofit organization, aimed at tackling the ‘Troubled Teen Industry.’ Through advocacy, awareness, research, and legislation, Breaking Code Silence is building a network of survivor resources and funds to begin taking on these facilities and those at the helm of the abuse.

Interim Organizational Director Vanessa Hughes stated Tuesday, “We are so proud to stand with the courageous survivors in Missouri, and across the country, who have spoken up and shared their stories. This resilient community is lifting each other up and creating real change! This bill could not have happened without the survivors of Circle of Hope, Agape, and many other survivors bravely standing up and demanding that these shared stories end!”

To find out more about how you can fight against the ‘Troubled Teen Industry,’ click here

By |May 11, 2021|Categories: Advocacy, Legislation, Press Releases|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Missouri Law Passes – A Step Forward
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