On March 22nd, 2021, Breaking Code Silence was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in California. The mission of Breaking Code Silence is to prevent institutional child abuse in residential facilities and to empower adult survivors to engage in positive self-advocacy. We utilize education, outreach, research, and community organizing to protect the civil and human rights of youth in congregate care.

“Code Silence” referred to a form of isolation used in WWASP programs in which detainees were not allowed to speak. This could last for days, months, or even years at a time. “Breaking Code of Silence” refers to the radical act of using our voices. We are survivors of the Troubled Teen Industry, or facilities falsely advertised as “fixing” children who are “troubled.”

The purpose of Breaking Code of Silence is to raise awareness of the abuses happening in these facilities, to fight for reform in the industry, and to empower survivors through community, knowledge, and telling our stories. We are a diverse group of people with various professional and educational backgrounds. We represent a large cross-section of survivors, including survivors who are queer and trans; black and indigenous; Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and atheist; autistic and allistic; young, middle-aged, and old; disabled; mentally ill; and male, female, and nonbinary. We seek to support all survivors and to create serious, lasting change in the lives of all youth.