Tuesday, October 26, 2010

They Didn't Forget

What is really interesting about my latest video is, within a few short days of the girls of Victory going to their reunion, five survivors of New Bethany also visited their place of incarceration. The women of Hephzibah House also joined together to file complaints. It's like the beginning of a growing movement.

SIA, the organization I am now part of, encourages survivors of teen residential facilities, no matter what form they take (children's homes, foster care, gay to straight centers), to have reunions. Virtual or otherwise.

Just being together and sharing experiences is therapeutic. In time, as the numbers grow, public attention will be drawn to the crimes occurring at these places.

Carey Dunn, a girl incarcerated at VCA, was killed after a stack of wood fell on her. Carey's death at VCA was swept under the rug. The women of VCA refused to let her death go unnoticed and planted a tree in her memory on the grounds of the home. They share the tree with survivors from other homes who experienced abuse.

The original proprietor of VCA set up shop in Florida after he was forbidden from working with children in the state of California. He now operates an escort business designed to shuttle young victims from their home to the teen gulags. The home he operated in Florida was accredited by the Florida Association of Child Caring Agencies. That's the same organization responsible for accrediting Camp Tracey in North Florida which also experienced allegations of abuse.

Never forget: one of the survivors in the Bob Gray case was SENT to a Lester Roloff home after she became pregnant. It's a toss up as to how many girls and boys sent to these places really need this type of treatment. During the Victory reunion, I only spoke with one person who admitted to being so far gone on drugs that she allows that the detox experienced was necessary.

Most were sent because of basic teenage behavior that clashes with fundamentalist values. Dark makeup, questioning beliefs, changing musical tastes, or worse: talking about molestation and abuse experienced in their homes and churches.

There were two I met at the VCA reunion who fit the latter category. There are others. Believe me, homes like VCA, New Bethany, and Hephzibah House are where the secrets, and skeletons in the closet, are kept.

FACCCA: List of places accredited by FACCA.
SIA ORGANIZATION: sia-now.org.
WOMEN OF NEW BETHANY: See pictures from their reunion on the facebook page.