On June 2nd, CAFETY took part in the rally against JRC, calling for an end to the torture of children with disabilities.
Despite its success, the torture continues. Therefore, we must not stop here!
|Current CAFETY leaders:
Cal (S) - Aubray Jackson
FL - Bill
Hawaii - Dani
MN - Chris N
NC - Mattie
NY (Albany) - Jon
NYC - Rebecca
TX - Chris
WA - Rebecca
Current Coalition Members:
Complete list Coming soon!
Building off the bold energy of this movement and our members, CAFETY and ally organizations have come together to form the Anti-Torture Coalition. Together, we will be hosting rallies nationwide and abroad to draw attention to the widespread and systematic use of torture as treatment of children at the Judge Rotenberg Center and beyond!
We all have once been or have known of people we love who have been subjected to abuse, torture or inhumane treatment as children. Some have been harmed by their own family. Many were harmed while in foster care. Others were harmed while being coercively forced into institutional living such as residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, group homes or wilderness 'therapy programs. All were subjected to abuse, torture or inhumane treatment.
We are building a movement to challenge the beliefs and policies that promote and support the abuse, torture and inhumane treatment of children.
We provide local organizational capacity support for successful local public education and advocacy and coalition building through:
- Providing a forum to brainstorm ideas, strategy and effective execution
- Production of material resources
- Survivor Empowerment Symposium in Washington DC - Summer 2013 Empowerment of survivors through education on the various issues related to the abuse, torture and institutionalization of children, increasing awareness among professionals on those issue relevant to youth and survivors and alumni of residential placement as children and inviting multi-disciplinary and collaborative discussion about the opportunities and strategies for systemic change are the goals of this unique and timely conference.
- CAFETY Members are welcome to join our planning committee Not yet a member, join now!
- Survivor March on the International Day for Victims of Torture - June 23, 2013
Some people want to know:
This is our reply:
The Judge Rotenburg Center is bad in every sense of the word. The notion that shocking children is treatment is absurd, yet this theory of punitive 'treatment' pervades the rooms of many such facilities. What should be as obvious and as simple as the Hippocratic oath of "do no harm" becomes an ethical quagmire where ethics and human rights fail to be taken into account regarding the care and treatment of children; where manifestations of a child’s internal mental or physical state of difference is met, not with loving care, empathy and understanding, but force, coercion and violence.
The hearts and minds of many come to rely on the expertise of professional charlatans, licensed or otherwise, who cloak treatment that undermine the dignity of children in their care as the 'last resort' and, therefore, in the "best interest" of the child. JRC operated on such beliefs of countless desperate parents and family members and unquestioning public for over twenty years, torturing countless children and adults. But custom can not be permitted to trump the unlawfulness and unethical practice of torture as care any longer!
We say to those parents, those families and the public at large: Children with autism may behave differently. So might children who have been victims of trauma. So, lets: Deal. With. It.
Quite literally, it's time we deal with it and what this all means.
Children whose needs aren't being met in the community or whose differences are not accepted are likely to make people uncomfortable. That doesn't make the myth that placement in a program is necessary any more true. Certainly, it does not justify the use of coercion, inhumane treatment or torture under the guise of 'treatment'. None of those myths can lessen the very common sense risk that placement can (and often does) promote superficial changes while causing damage to the child that appears to be largely beyond the publics comprehension at this time. We know. We have lived it.
The time has come for the public to recognize that human rights must be taken into account in the realm of the care of children. Characteristics of evidence-based treatment look nothing like these types of disempowering and harmful programs. Rather, those principles are instead consistent with what human rights and the term healing evokes in us all and it looks like the kind of relationship of trust and care we all imagine between a healer and the person being healed - that is, treatment as a collaborative partnership.
No parent should ever be placed in a position where they feel unsupported in their community and are forced to abandon their child. No family or tax payer should ever be defrauded out of thousands of dollars based on unscientific research or testimonials that claim the use of violence as treatment has any merit. And no child should ever be subjected to treatment where no evidence exists to prove it so.
It does, however, make it clear that institutionalization and torture are NOT the answer.
Those principles of unethical and inhumane residential programs are grossly inconsistent with the type of fear provoking 'last resort' claims that have come to allow places like JRC to dehumanize the children in their care and torture them for the child’s 'own good' and the 'greater good' of society. With that horrific treatment comes public acceptance of the stigma and prejudices programs like and including JRC have built an entire business enterprise on.
What we know about stigma is that close interaction and regular day to day contact with those who are different dispel these myths and fears that contribute to us viewing them as sub-human, warranting their torture as care. That's hard to do when you've been institutionalized.
As survivor members of CAFETY, once as children held captive against our will, utterly powerless and tortured in the name of treatment, we recognize now that we DID NOT deserve to be penalized for our natural responses to our life circumstances and subjected to the horrors done to us in the name of treatment.
Yet, in many states, this is what is occurring at many residential homes. Whether defined as aversives or some other form of behavior modification or coercion, the premise is the same: forced change by breaking the child down.
We are survivors of such 'care' and we are taking a stand against the continued widespread and systemic use of inhumane and torturous treatment of our nations most vulnerable! We represent survivors from age 16 to 94 and we come from all walks of like. We walk in solidarity and will continue to do so until no child is forced to endure torture as treatment as we have. We hope you will stand along side us in this community alliance!
- Here's more about CAFETY's position on aversive behavioral interventions.
- Multi-Systemic Treatment (MST)
- Multi-Dimensional Treatment Foster Care
- Peer Reviewed
- Control Group
Family involvement is a critical component to evidence-based care, so sending a child to another state or country is not part of treatment.
NOT a showing of being Evidence Based:
- Seclusion and Restraints
- Residential Treatment (aka Therapeutic Boarding Schools, Wilderness Therapy Programs, Boot Camps)
- Separation from family
- Programs that only use testimonials or endorsements by Dr. Phil or Dr Drew - (ie. Diamond Ranch )
- Programs that use unscientific methodology to claim efficacy - Aspen Education Group
- Programs whose findings of efficacy are not peer reviewed - JRC (and many others!)
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