SUBMISSIONS FAQ

As we receive submissions, we will attempt to ensure to review each submission in a reasonable amount of time. We will try to post approximately 4-6 stories on social media per week. Depending on the amount of submissions we receive at a time, it may take some time to post your story. Prior to posting your story, we will email you to confirm your submission. If you change your mind at any point before or after your story is posted, that is completely fine. We understand that you might have your reasons. If you have any issues,  email us at info@breakingcodesilence.org. Your story will always belong to you. If you choose to share your story, your submissions will be shared across our social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) as well as being added to this website.

If you are a survivor of institutional child abuse, a parent/sibling/guardian/other family member of a survivor, or a former staff that wishes to speak out about your experience in the “troubled teen industry,” we want to help you share your story. Breaking Code Silence supports all survivors in honoring and affirming their testimonies. We hope to have many voices speaking out to show others that they are not alone and show the public just how widespread these issues are.

While we will always try to amplify and share survivor’s voices, any survivor can use the #breakingcodesilence hashtag to share about their time in a program. Regardless of whether survivors submit their stories to us, we encourage survivors to make their own videos or written stories, share their stories, and use the hashtag #breakingcodesilence.

If you choose to submit your story to us, we will be happy to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. It’s not an easy task sharing your story with the public and you can decide to change your mind at any time. It is your story to tell on your terms.

As far as the content of the submission, we won’t edit the substance of your story but we might assist you with video editing or correct grammar/spelling errors for written submissions.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS

Written statements are a great way for survivors to practice positive self-advocacy. It is also a great option for those who are not comfortable with being on camera or wish to remain anonymous. If you wish to submit your written story, here are the guidelines for written submissions:

  • Write about your personal experience in a program or facility
  • Include the age you were taken and the year(s) you were in the program
  • Write what was done to you and/or what you witnessed being done to others. It is important to only share your own experience or things that you personally witnessed firsthand.
  • If you have a photo of you around the age you were taken or while you were in the facility that you were willing to share, it can be really impactful when sharing your story. If you do not wish to share a photo, that is completely fine as well.

In order for us to share written testimonials, the statement must be submitted by completing a legal declaration of fact. This allows us to show a record that we have done our due diligence to ensure what we share on our site and social media is truthful and factual.

When you are ready to submit your written story, please so so by filling out this declaration and paste the story into the “Testimony (Story/Statement)” section. We will then reach out to you when we are close to sharing your story.

If you do choose to share, we thank you for standing up against institutional child abuse.

VIDEO SUBMISSIONS

If your preference is to record and submit a video to Breaking Code Silence, you just need to record and submit it. Nothing will be shared without your consent and approval. The following instructions are meant as a guide to ensure that the video comes out as cleanly as possible. If you can’t follow it perfectly, do not become discouraged or frustrated. As long as you speak clearly, coherently and truthfully, we can work on producing a short for you. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to email us at info@breakingcodesilence.org.

The guidelines for a video submission that we aim for is as follows:

  • Record in a place with as little background noise as possible
  • Ensure your background is clean. For example, not having the dirty dishes piled up behind you. If all else fails, we recommend doing it against a wall
  • Use your phone camera or preferred recording device in landscape mode. This is a lot easier of a format to edit and put on social media.
  • Share when you were sent away and what type of program you were sent to. If you feel comfortable, you may share the name of the program
  • Share how old you were when you were sent away
  • Since we hope that the videos remain under 5 minutes, share what was done to you and/or what you witnessed done to others as briefly as you can
  • Share why you are speaking out
  • End your video with the statement, “My name is __________ and I am Breaking Code Silence.”

After you have completed your video, please share the video file to info@breakingcodesilence.org and also include some pictures you have of yourself as a child. If you have any pictures of yourself when you were in the program, those would be excellent to share.

After you submit the video, we will work on compiling it as a short. However, we will not post it or share it until you have seen it and approved of it.

Thank you for sharing your story and standing up against institutional child abuse.