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Mental Health

Exposing the Dark Reality: Children at Risk in Psychiatric Facilities

— May 2, 2024

Nearly half of young patients staying at psychiatric facilities report experiencing sexual violence.

In the shadows of psychiatric facilities, a silent epidemic of sexual assault against vulnerable children and adolescents persists, casting a grim shadow over the mental health landscape. Recent revelations from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) unveil a disturbing truth: up to 45% of young inpatients face the harrowing ordeal of sexual violence within the confines of psychiatric institutions.

Amidst the sterile corridors and ostensibly safe confines of psychiatric facilities, innocence is shattered, and trauma inflicted. CCHR’s vigilance sheds light on a crisis that has long lurked in the shadows of neglect and indifference. Disturbingly, reports of sexual abuse within these facilities continue to escalate, painting a grim portrait of an industry that prioritizes profit over the protection of its most vulnerable charges.

This reality is not confined to the margins of society; it permeates both privately owned and state-run psychiatric institutions, where children entrusted to care find themselves at the mercy of predators disguised as caregivers. Shockingly, the very institutions meant to provide solace and healing become breeding grounds for exploitation and suffering.

Recent studies underscore the pervasiveness of this crisis, with alarming revelations of assaults perpetrated not only by fellow patients but also by those entrusted with their care. The prevalence of underreporting and lack of adequate legal enforcement perpetuates a culture of impunity, where the vulnerable are left defenseless against the predatory actions of those in positions of authority.

Exposing the Dark Reality: Children at Risk in Psychiatric Facilities
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

The stories that emerge from the darkness of these facilities are harrowing. From the now-infamous Rock River Academy & Residential Center to the heart-wrenching cases documented in Texas and Utah, the toll of sexual abuse inflicted upon innocent children leaves an indelible mark on society’s conscience.

Yet, amidst the despair, there are glimmers of hope. Legal victories such as the California appeals court’s landmark decision and the relentless advocacy of organizations like CCHR signal a turning tide in the fight against institutionalized abuse. However, much remains to be done.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights has made this call to action both clear and urgent. Comprehensive oversight, stringent protections, and swift consequences for negligent facilities are imperative to safeguarding the well-being of vulnerable children. Legislative and regulatory reforms must be enacted to dismantle systemic failures and prioritize patient safety over profit margins.

The path forward demands collaboration and solidarity among policymakers, healthcare professionals, advocacy groups, and the public. Experts say that we can only root out the systemic rot that allows such atrocities to persist unchecked through concerted effort.

Founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and the late Dr. Thomas Szasz, a Professor of Psychiatry, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights has been at the forefront of advocating for patients’ rights and exposing abuses within the mental health industry.

Through its tireless efforts, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights has helped enact laws to criminalize sexual relations between mental health professionals and their patients, championing justice and accountability in an often-overlooked corner of society.


CCHR Condemns Mental Health Industry Putting Children At Risk Of Sexual Assault

Child Abuse Allegations In The Behavioral-Psychiatric Industry: Universal Health Services (UHS)

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