There is a booming industry offering treatments for “troubled teens” in Utah. Some of these organizations label themselves as therapeutic boarding schools. Parents can send their teens to these facilities to live and get treatment for issues like substance dependency. Unfortunately, some of these facilities are anything but therapeutic. In fact, they can be abusive. Therapeutic boarding school abuse in Utah is real, and victims of such abuse can leave worse off than when they arrived.
Therapeutic Boarding School Abuse in Utah – What Happens?
While not all treatment centers for teens in Utah commit abuses, enough do so that the state is attempting to address the issue. Some of the more common forms of abuse include:
1. Verbal Abuse
Many former residents of boarding school treatment centers report significant verbal abuse during their stay. Staff at some treatment centers may believe that “tough love” is required to get through to patients. Whatever the reason, patients report being verbally harassed, cursed at, threatened, and other types of verbal abuse.
2. Physical Abuse
Another common complaint about therapeutic boarding school abuse in Utah is physical abuse. Some patients report being pushed, shoved against walls, thrown to the ground, grabbed, and even hit. Patients at these facilities do not get to keep their phones so it can be difficult for them to document their bruises and other injuries. But with so many former patients reporting physical abuse, even without photographic evidence, investigators believe this type of abuse has occurred.
3. Sexual Abuse
Disturbingly, some former patients report not just verbal and physical abuse, but sexual abuse as well. Some accuse staff of sexual assault and rape.
Another common accusation is that some of these facilities force patients into solitary confinement. This confinement sometimes involved isolation in small rooms or even closet-sized rooms. The isolation may have lasted weeks or even longer.
5. Hard Labor
One form of punishment that some of these treatment programs employed was hard labor. For example, outdoor camps would have teens set up camps, cut wood, dig trenches, and perform other labor to the point of exhaustion repeatedly.
What is Being Done About Therapeutic Boarding School Abuse in Utah?
The state is investigating many of these organizations to find evidence of abuses. Recently, Paris Hilton testified in front of lawmakers in Utah about her experience of abuse. After her testimony, lawmakers moved forward on increasing regulations and oversight of the industry.
On a person-by-person basis, many victims of the treatment center industry are filing lawsuits with the help of Utah personal injury lawyers. At Carlson Injury, we have helped multiple clients take legal action against their abusers. We fight passionately on behalf of our clients and strive to hold their abusers accountable.
If you or a loved one has suffered treatment center abuse in Utah, please contact us today. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (801) 845-4577 to speak to our attorney.