One of the owners of United Defense Gear Inc. is a survivor of the Troubled Teen Industry (TTI). She spent two years in subpar conditions, no running water, no electricity, months without showers, food deprived, sleep deprived, tied to others and forced to work in the fields, denied medical care, endured levels of incomprehensible abuse; all the while not being allowed to speak. From there she joined the World’s Greatest Air Force.
In an effort to help support her fellow survivors we have decided to make merch repping Survivors and their Allies. The proceeds will go to charities who support survivors of the TTI and create educational material for the general public.
Fellow survivors please remember: You are more than “just another troubled teen”.
What is “Code Silence”?
Many programs/facilities employ some version of a tactic called "Code Silence" (this specific term was used first in the program Casa By The Sea). This is used to dominate students through forced silence, meant to socially isolate students until they reach a breaking point. This oppressive silence can last for days, weeks, months, even up to years, if the student does not progress in the levels. This form of treatment causes feelings of frustration, abandonment and separation anxiety (the side effects have proven to result in complex trauma symptoms years after release). By literally taking these children's voices away, the program takes away their right to express themselves, report abuse, and make relationships with their peers. Socialization and the developing brain of a teenager are extremely important. In a toxic totalitarian environment, the last thing a child needs is to be silenced, and that silence ends today…
We will speak so that they can be heard.
We will be silent no more.
#BreakingCodeSilence was created to encourage survivors of institutional abuse to stand up and testify about the abuse in their programs. We speak out today not for ourselves, but for all the victims suffering with no voice and no hope of rescue.
#UnitedwithOneVoice is a testament to the realities of the troubled teen industry – by us, the survivors. We hope this demonstration of empowerment and support for all survivors will gain widespread awareness which will fuel legislative action. In previous years, we have fought to bring forward Federal legislative reform. Ultimately it stalled in the House of Representatives and let this failing system prevail.
By telling our stories, we will unify our voice that:
This cycle of abuse and corruption needs to stop.
Children are not disposable.
We demand justice!
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