This article discusses the physical abuse that some teens have suffered at various troubled teen industry programs.
“The staff was afraid to get into trouble because a staff member slammed my head down, and I used my Chromebook camera to take a picture of my black eye. “I got a severe concussion from the staff, and I was coughing up blood and had an immediate black eye and a bloody nose. When a nurse came in to check on me, he told me I had a concussion and to go to sleep.”
These programs are supposed to be keeping these children safe. Most are under 16 years old when they enter the program, and instead of being treated with respect, kindness, and help, they are forced to deal with both physical and mental trauma.
On the Moonridge Academy website, they say the program’s number one core value is health and safety. On their website, they say, “We are dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing environment where young teens can explore their potential through adventure and diversity. We are committed to attuning to each child's unique needs and supporting their choices with accountability.”
When parents see these cheerful and comforting websites, I don’t think they believe their child is being forced to have panic attacks, being physically injured, being refused bathroom breaks, and being screamed at for crying.
There was a lot of medical neglect at these programs, which caused many young teenagers to almost die, and some did.
Tikki Reichman, now 18 years old, was sent to the Evoke Wilderness Program and four other troubled teen industries for unknown reasons. During her time at Evoke, she was hiking, and a dangerous sprain bit her, and she sprained her ankle. Unsurprisingly to everyone around her, the staff members told her she was being dramatic, but her ankle still bothers her today because of that incident.
Harley, a woman who went to Diamond Ranch Academy from 2011- 2012, explained that there was “one girl was accused of being dramatic about her asthma on one of the first days she was there, and she ended up in an ambulance after being forced to do calisthenics without her inhaler. One girl had an ovarian cyst that was causing her excruciating pain, and she still was forced to do the cart walk.”
These young women were being brainwashed into thinking the reason that they got hurt was only their fault and that they were a burden. Instead of helping these young impressionable teenagers with mental health issues, the staff members only add to them.
An 18-year-old female was sent to Elevations RTC at age 13 for 14 months and then sent back for two weeks when she was 17 due to a suicide attempt two years later. She was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder and had multiple suicide attempts, which ultimately led her parents to send her to the therapeutic residential center.
The anonymous source says she was in restraint because she was trying to hurt herself, but the staff used an excessive amount of force on her and slammed her onto the ground while twisting her arm behind her back and had his total weight on her.
A 16-year-old female, Erika, was at Viewpoint Residential Treatment Center, the sister organization to Elevations RTC, and was sent there for her anxiety and depression. She recalls that she was put into restraint at Viewpoint. “I had rugburns and bruises all up and down my arms. There were three adult male staff members. Two of which were staying on my ankles, and one was twisting my arms behind my back as I was laying flat on the ground.”
This was a standard method in RTC centers to “calm the teenagers down” or “stop them from crying.” To clarify, the staff abused their power over the teenagers by putting them under restraints whenever they felt necessary.
The 16-year-old, Erika, says, “You can be restrained for any reason. I was restrained because I didn’t go to bed at the proper time.”
In 2019, a teenager named Ari was sent to Evavations RTC because they tried to commit suicide and did self-harm. With their parent’s trying to get them the help they needed, they were sent away to receive support. Nevertheless, they only experienced physical and mental harm. Ari exclaims that “there was one time a staff (Issac Gonalez) grabbed me by my upper arm and dragged me down a hallway. I got rub burns and bruises from that.”
Disgustingly, the survivors have also witnessed their friends get hurt as well. Outrageously, there is no limit to the mental and physical abuse staff members have petrified these children with.
“I saw a girl get her head slammed so hard into the ground. It was the same staff member that gave me a concussion. Her eye was so swollen, and it looked like a golf ball on her eye,” says the now 18-year-old. Despite the abuse, the man who did this was not fired but became a nurse instead of a staff member of this program. He is still there to this day. The 18-year-old source says he physically abused multiple children and most likely still does it.
A woman named Gertie went to Moonridge Academy, a therapeutic boarding school in Cedar City, Utah. She saw a staff member dislocate a child’s shoulder and tell her she could not get up off the ground until she stopped screaming. She also explains the abuse that she has endured on her Tik Tok.
“I fell and hit my head so hard, and I blacked out. The staff yelled at me for crying. I was overmedicated to the point where it caused me medical problems.”
Before Gertie was at Moonridge Academy, she was at Trails Carolina Wilderness Program, where she was sexually assaulted. At the same time, the staff told her it was her fault and ignored her concerns. When the 12-year-old was hiking, she “nearly fainted from overexertion because manual labor was a normal activity as well as a punishment.”
Generally speaking Tikki Reichman, a brave survivor, speaks for all survivors and wants people to know that these children are not lying. They are being practically tortured and brainwashed for having mental health and abuse issues. If any child or adult tells you they are being abused, listen to them because they are not lying and are being dramatic; they are in trouble. These programs that are given guardianship over these young teenagers are not only wholly destroying their mental health; they are physically abusing them.
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