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PENINSULA BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

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Peninsula behavioral health

6 LOCATIONS IN TENNESSEE

 

SURVIVORíS REPORT #1

 

I entered Peninsula Behavioral Health at the age of 14. I entered the adolescents unit, which is apparently an offshoot of a non-compulsory adult drug-rehabilitation facility, sometime in April Ď03 and was dismissed a week later. While I did not witness any blatant torture, it is by no means a treatment program, just a way to make money, as my mom was later billed hundreds of dollars owed to Peninsula. It is incarceration under the guise of rehabilitation. The MD who convinced my parents of consenting my admittance to Peninsula told what I know now to be blatant lies or at least factual inaccuracies to gain their consent. I was made to give blood and urine, the blood was drawn by a nurse who admitted her own incompetence and thus required several separate attempts to get the needle in the right area. I was threatened that my stay there would be prolonged if I didnít give blood, although I was not admitted there under the suspicion of drug abuse in the first place, but anorexia (and despite me allegedly having such a horrible disease, they did not attempt to treat me for any kind of eating disorder whatsoever). I was denied access to my parents on the first level, be it telephone or otherwise. My parents were told when they were allowed to visit to be wary of my words for I would try to manipulate them to get out. I was preached religion by an apparent MD who gave me a physical. I was made to remove all but my underwear during admittance. I was not allowed any reading materials, which meant besides the periodical "group sessions" and "inspirational movies", I was left to stare at the wall in depressive monotony for hours at a time. I was not allowed to leave my desk except to use the restroom and it was required that you gain permission from a nurse to be able to sit or lay on your bed, which were searched, along with our folders, daily, and we were made to re-make the beds after they were messed up by counselors. Despite all this the facility operated under a very clean and professional environment, excellent "manipulation" if I may say so myself. Make no mistake, I can't see how this could be beneficial to anyone no matter what their problem, except to instill fear of a second stay, which could be helpful to some parents nonetheless but not any individual clients. I overheard counselors attempting to convince a boy into entering Peninsula Village, which is also on your list. Everything I have said is true to the best of my knowledge and experience.

 

Anthony (send messages for Anthony to HEAL at info@heal-online.org)

 

Anthony also made a list comparing the abuses at Peninsula to the list of warning signs on the HEAL site.  You may view the list of warning signs by visiting www.heal-online.org/warn.htm.  We remind you that the warning signs are red flags and if a program you have submitted your child to has any of the warning signs, we highly recommend you do not send your child there.  Below is Anthonyís list of matching Peninsula program actions to the list of warning signs.

 

I will list the violations according to your list:

 

1. Peninsula Behavioral Health operates with some sort of "levels" system, where over the course of a week you

gain levels which gains you certain privileges. During the first few days I was not allowed to call or speak to my parents, during the first meeting with my parents it was monitored with a "counselor" in the room, the second time days later, It was not monitored. However I was asked if I had a message for my parents which they could deliver, I said to deliver the message that this was "Not a hospital, but a prison", I was laughed at and told that that message would not be delivered.

 

2. I believe so that my parents had to sign something of the sort, yes.

 

5. The foreign (Indian) doctor who each of the "patients" had one to two meetings with (the headmaster it seems),  was very unhappy about me telling my parents that for most of the day I stared at the wall although this was true. He said I was trying to manipulate them and all the "counselors" warned my parents before our first meeting about "manipulation", that I would say anything to try to get out and to take what I say with caution.

 

6. Level 3 "patients" only are allowed telephone privileges, I never reached that level.

 

10. It resembled a low security prison.

 

12. They were not allowed to see me during this process I believe.

 

13. We were made to exercise lightly, I don't know if it was compulsory though.

 

14. Yes, no books were allowed at all.

 

17. I didnít ask to see any credentials but the Indian doctor who was not entirely fluent in English seemed a bit suspicious to me, nothing concrete here though.

 

22. Because I was allegedly anorexic and they were suspicious I would vomit my food, I was asked at times to leave the bathroom door cracked while I pissed.

 

24. I was asked to strip, refused, and was then asked to remove all but my underwear.

 

25. No reading materials were allowed although I didnít ask for any religious materials,  but I was preached Christianity by a MD, or apparent MD. There was nothing that pointed to this MD's preaching as anything other than vigilante, although their official site makes references to "God."

 

28. I was not examined by or had any meaningful discussion with the person that prescribed me the medication, this person did not outwardly look to be an MD.

 

33. On the first level you are denied a 30-minute, fenced outside time.

 

36. There was a strict policy against looking or speaking to clients of the opposite sex, which would occasionally pass through the hall in lines. I was mistakenly accused of looking, (yes, looking), at a girl when I was merely talking to another client who happened to be in the field of vision of the door, which apparently some girls had just passed through. I was spotted by a counselor and made to write an entry in the rulebook over 50 times. I digressed this with a different counselor who seemed to believe me but insisted I write it anyway.

 

Survivor's Report #2:  Peninsula Village

By L.C.

 

Everything in my statement is true. I give HEAL permission to use my statement.  I swear everything I wrote here is to the best of my knowledge completely true and I will be held accountable for anything written here.

 

I have personally witnessed the repeated abuse of minors at the Peninsula Village facility and would be more than happy to testify or present evidence to this fact. These behavior modification teen wilderness camps are a controversial excuse for therapy at best, they are also exorbitantly expensive. PV costs 500 dollars a night, more if they are "forced" to restrain you, or if you are in STU, the lock down unit. PV costs over a 150,000.00 a year, the kids in PV either have very good insurance or the state, tax dollars, pay for them to be abused. Childrenís parents can sign them over to behavioral modification facilities with no court order for ďcrimesĒ that no court would convict. The children are isolated in the facilities and have no recourse whatsoever. Many of the parents are abusive.

 

When I started to research PV I was amazed to discover how completely unqualified many of the daily staff is. The job requirements to be a live in counselor are a high school education or a GED, associate degrees from community colleges are common. Out of the staff that PV shows on it's website, I don't believe I saw one member of the daily staff that actually lives with the kids. Therefore, it is obvious that Peninsula Village turns an excellent yearly profit. I will include the job requirements for PV I found on the Covenant Health website under job search. The purpose of this letter is to officially report and describe the abuses that I both witnessed and was subjected to, in the hopes that it will help the children still suffering under that nightmare.

 

I was in Peninsula Village from 96 to 98, both my parents and I feel that we were extremely misled as to what my treatment there would be like. I was in the lock down unit for six months on arrival to the Village although I was cowed, completely subservient and did everything that they told me to. I was physically restrained on the first day in a hospital gown by at least 8 large adults for nothing more than pulling my arm away, it was an impulse reaction, when the large orderly woman dugs her nails purposefully into my arm. I know that this was purposeful. I was sitting on the floor in the isolation room looking up at the staff member when I pulled away but only instantaneously as a sort off knee jerk reaction and not violently, she had hurt me. She then stepped back looked at me again and pressed the buzzer staff wears around their neck to signal a restraint. There was absolutely no need to restrain me other than to prove a point, we can hurt you if we want to, which I donít believe they are allowed to use restraining for. I was already in the isolation room all she had to do was walk out and close the door, I also wasnít at all violent or had even thought to be, I regarded her as a teacher or some other adult authority figure, you certainly do not react violently to a teacher. I was not in PV for any form of violence. I wasnít even defiant, mostly I was scared, crying and sitting on the floor of the isolation room in a ball. This was after the intrusive body search and being woken up at 5:30 in the morning by three burly adults who escorted me to Tennessee, it was more like being kidnapped.

 

While being restrained the Peninsula Village staff applied excessive pressure, I couldn't breathe and kept repeating that I was choking, but they let no pressure off, I was bruised and sore the next day, the restraint went on for hours. I saw one girl with a nasty black eye which they said came from pressing her face into the floor, like that made it better. I saw other cases with bruised arms, wrists legs and faces. There is no doubt in my mind that they could have restrained my totally non-resistant sobbing 95 pound borderline anorexic teenage self between all 1400 pounds of the 8 of them without hurting me. I was not fighting at all, even at first, I was far too shocked. Each held a body part so it was not a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, the individual staff member meant to hurt us. They also kept restraining you long after any fight was gone and even if none was there in the first place. I remember girls being restrained for what seemed like all night, although it was really only about three hours. There was an isolation room in the lockdown unit, nice cold hard linoleum with cement underneath but they would restrain you anywhere, gravel, garden manure, wherever.

 

They also used a straight jacket called a burrito. I can remember seeing a state kid stuck in that thing for a day or more, they were leading her around. Other girls were strapped to a cot wrapped up in it, given what must have been a lot of thorazine and other drugs, and left to drool. There were about two or three restraints a week often more. I was once restrained because I couldn't stop crying , I really couldn't I would have stopped of course to avoided being restrained, I was about as resistant as a wet noodle and they still held me down choking for hours. They would restrain girls for nothing, for saying in group therapy, I donít agree with that politely enough , or for sitting down on work detail saying that they felt sick and needed to rest.

 

We were not allowed to look at or talk to the other girls and we had to ask for permission to do anything, move even, of course go to the bathroom and we had to tell them what it is we had to do, they stood outside the door and timed us. There was no reading, and no free time, Group therapy was more like a denouncement session and began as soon as you were crying, that is later on the first day, after they had restrained you for a few hours and you were a broken puddle ready to confess to anything. I don't believe that many of the staff that actually lives with the girls on a daily basis is especially educated, perhaps some BA's and associate degrees, These are the oneís who actually deal with the children and run group therapy and restrain them, I donĎt believe there is one daily staff member pictured on the internet and they are the ones who actually live with the girls. .

 

The lights in the lockdown unit, STU, where I spent the first six months, were left on all the time, we slept in cubicles and were often woken by the staff patrolling , they were always standing over us. We were punished constantly, abuse was constant every second for those two years. The cubicles had no fronts and the room was small. We were not allowed outside, until we were ready to move out to the cabins. This was horrible, after sitting on a bed for six months we were suddenly made to do back breaking physical work all day.

 

We had level systems, I never got beyond the first level although I was completely compliant. I don't think I was as willing to rip into my fellow prisoners as much they would have liked. Group therapy was a cult denouncement experience, it was pure hell, and I am not exaggerating. They would find out your deepest darkest secrets and then browbeat you with them like you were disgusting dirt, we could say nothing to defend ourselves or we would face being PCId/ restrained. They liked sexual revelations and would ask you everything about them, specific details and more details, it was not appropriate, odd and used to induce shame. You would confess to things you didn't do and then they would tell your family. Many of the girls were in there for something that had happened to them, the website, says the Village is an expert at helping abused girls. It was terrible to watch them torture some poor teenager who was in there because she had been raped or molested. Many of the girls had been raped or molested, myself included, and to be held up to shame, ridicule and denouncement in relation to sex at a place that was supposed to help you with your experience was a pure nightmare.

They encourage the girls to pick on each other, to rip into each other during group therapy so bullying is greatly encouraged, in fact the level system is based strongly on it. There was desperation mentality, as we all struggled so hard to avoid being punished and they punished all of us together, I realize now that the punishments were arbitrary, no matter how hard we tried to avoid them they were still going to rain down on our heads. We would pretend to give feedback, their word for harassment and abuse, but how can you tear someone apart after listening to them scream all night while staff held their face into the floor. There were also frequent outbreaks of head lice while I was in STU. Many of us wanted to work with the Village, I personally wanted sane educated adults to help me. It was extremely confusing and terrifying.

 

It seemed very odd that some of the girls were in a behavior modification facility at all and it was hard to tell how all this abuse was going to help any of them. The treatment did not seem at all relevant to the problems the girls were having? One of the girls was there for telling her parents that she was gay and that was really it. There were a lot of anorexics. Worst of all some had done nothing other than get molested by a close relative, to the horror of their families. The PV website says that PV is an expert at helping girls deal with issues like rape and molestation. I want to know whether or not the relative being accused was being investigated? It most cases I saw it was being somewhat brushed under the rug or almost completely brushed under the rug. There was very limited contact with the outside world, especially for girls who's families had signed them over. It did not seem reasonable that these girls were treated as if they were being punished or were in jail for more serious offenses. I thought too, that a lot of the girls who were in for more serious things were acting out more serious problems in their lives, like the kids who had unfit parents and were in foster care. It is a very hard world out there for a teenage runaway with drug addict, alcoholic, abusive parents. It really is, I lived with them for a long time, the stories were pretty typical. Perhaps better educated staff would have been more aware.

 

The counselors run all the group therapy sessions and group therapy is the only kind of therapy we had at the Village. We had brief individual therapy once every two months maybe less and group therapy two or three time a day. Some girls were good students, there were also a certain amount of custody battles. The Village likes to add as much social stigma as possible to the teenagers there because it keeps them in business. Some were pretty ordinary teenagers, who were dealing with issues like boys, sex, pressure to drink and smoke pot or being tormented by kids at their schools. I'll include the criteria for admissions to PV at the bottom of the page it is so broad as to be funny if it wasn't horrible.

 

After the lock down unit with its cramped quarters and barred mesh covered windows for months, we had the cabins and work detail. Work detail was exercise digging up stumps, cross sawing logs, mauling logs, building endless things under the constant abuse of the staff in the hot sun. I believe I was also suffering from sleep deprivation because we were often woken up at two in the morning to go out to the log shed to be shown how much wood still needed to be chop or for some other arbitrary reason, we also always woke up before dawn and didn't get to bed till late because we always had endless chores or punishments to finish. I used to fall asleep standing up, literally on a daily basis. We marched around in lines, or holding on to a rope, and there was still no talking or looking at the other girls, it was very lonely. We had to haul around the Gott, a water jug that weighed so much your arms would feel like they were going to fall off and you'd want to vomit but if you dropped it you knew you were in worse trouble, we carried around many heavy things. The Gott was our water for the cabin.

 

The cabins have no running water or bathrooms only porta johns. They exercise you past the breaking point and then over a little, and then much more. It was torture, I can't emphasize that enough torture, we did this all day most days, unless we were in school or on shutdown. We had no free time, we weren't allowed to read or anything, everything was tightly scheduled and we would always miss our schedule and be punished although we tried in pure desperation to make them happy so they would stop. Our showers were timed, everything was timed. Hygiene wasnít that great and there was no makeup or jewelry or of course shaving your legs, only ugly work cloths. I only mention this because it is very dehumanizing for a young girl. We had no free time whatsoever, I did not speak to another girl the entire time I was there, without staff permission, which was rare. We weren't allowed to read, that was the worst for me because I love to read. No books, how are you suppose to learn without being able to read.

 

School was ok when you got to go, but it wasn't very organized and there was a lot of other stuff going on, we also only went half of the school week, so we could do more important things like dig stumps out of the ground, I guess. Most left with a GED, I think they really focused on GED training, which makes it hard to get into colleges, especially if when they ask for high school credits you list a behavior modification facility. Often if something came up, like we went on shutdown or were sent to STU, the lockdown unit, we would miss school all together. Once they had us sit in a circle with our backs to each other and stare at the wall for five months only to turn around for group therapy and to be escorted to the bathroom. We had no school for those five months and five months is a long time to sit in a circle starring at a wall only to turn around for a denouncement session.

 

From all the restraining you are probably thinking that the girls were always acting up. I can not stress how completely not true this is. For the most part they were more like zombies than wild teenagers. Iíve done some research on prison camps and abuse and I don't believe there is a teenager girl out there that isnít going to turn into a limp half dead dish rag in the face of no escape, constant abuse; mental, physical, emotional and sexual although not physically so, denouncement sessions, sleep deprivation, sadistic people four times her size watching her constantly and being drugged. The opposition I saw was closer to nervous breakdowns than violent defiance. There was some defiance but it was only verbal protests of the abuse, that I saw. The girls crossed the staff at the Village in really sad to watch ways, like protesting the denouncement sessions, no being molested wasnít my fault, or saying I canít work anymore I feel sick or I canít stop sobbing Iím trying but I canít stop, Iím just going to sit here and not move. Saying, ďthis is wrongĒ was enough to get you restrained, or showing any annoyance at the abuse. I donít think I saw anyone physically fight back or even threaten too except by pulling away or as they were already being restrained and this was usually accompanied by a very believable, remember I saw many bruises, you are hurting me I canít breath. The only time I saw anyone fight, or squirm from underneath eight gigantic adults, is when they were already being restrained. These were usually the girls who had suffered long term serious abuse and it is not surprising they would become upset when being abused again. They staff was far too eager to restrain people and unbelievably cruel and abusive in their daily treatment on the girls. I never saw anything that posed as a danger to staff or the other girls but I sure as saw them restrain people a lot, at least two or three times a week. I also thought it odd that if the girls are so dangerous that they would have them marching around with hammers, cross saws, mauls, axes and other pretty dangerous things.

 

I believe there is an abusive criteria for staff at the Village that they are told to follow, they show no sympathy and harass the girls constantly. I believe the idea is to keep the level of stress extremely high. There was a good deal of talk about breaking us down to be built back up although I saw no building back up, and I was there for about eighteen months. Also, I believe behavior modification involves rewarding good behavior. The punishments at the Village were completely arbitrary and rewards involved things like being allowed to use salt and pepper on your food. Staff would do things like walk around and mess up your bed and then yell at you while you tried to remake it while being timed, this is a slight example but it would happen, or something like it, twenty times a day sometimes at two in the morning, and was extremely nerve wracking. It was completely odd arbitrary stuff that basically allowed for you to be abused no matter what, and it taught you that no matter what abuse is constant. It was much like living in an extremely abusive family I believe. Not very helpful to victims of molestation, or abuse?

 

One of the counselors, extremely undereducated, she had a associates degree from a community college, was found on My Space to belong to a community that photographs women in bondage. There were many pictures of young women in bondage on her website. In another instance, a director of the girls side, was arrested for driving extremely drunk, I believe she tried to back down a highway entrance ramp and hit another car. It turned out she was an alcoholic.

 

Peninsula Village of course, won't let you talk to your parents except after I think it was six months for me, even then just by phone with a family therapist on conference call so if you break out of the party line and say ďplease get me out itís a nightmareĒ large orderlies can appear and march you back for more abusive indoctrination. They also read your mail. They laugh at you when you say you want a lawyer. Your parents have of course been told you are a lying manipulator and not to believe you and that you just want to come home so you can go out with boys and smoke pot. Kids wet the bed because they were too scared to ask to go to the bathroom at night, either that or all the abuse was manifesting in weird ways. I wouldn't believe it except I lived it and I swear on my life everything I said is 150% true.

 

I have lasting scars from this experience, I have nightmares almost every night, not always about the village just in general, that the world is a horrible place and all the scary fascist people are going to eat me and everything I care about and I'm going to be completely at there mercy. Besides the nightmares sometimes I shake uncontrollably if I am frightened or nervous, it is very embarrassing and is not helpful at work or in school. I have finally gotten over my overwhelming social anxiety enough that I am well on my way too having a college degree and have a life of my own. The Village taught me nothing other than how to be cowed and subservient and to think it was ok when someone abuses me, I still am completely incapable of making eye contact with other human beings. The Village teaches you to give in to peer pressure and let your self be influenced by those around you even if they are going against what you think is ethical. I canít emphasize enough how bad Peninsula Village is. I was amazed that we had no rights while in there. I asked to speak to a lawyer or someone from the outside, I heard girls ask to have the police called repeatedly, and they laughed at us.  Therapy at PV is a horrible lie. They take abused girls and tell them that they deserve abuse. It's the daily mantra there, how everything is your fault, your rape, your parents problems, your anorexia, your life in foster care. I never got to talk to another girl the entire time I was there, other than with asked permission and staff listening, even then it was just about mandatory things, like, put the piece of wood down here. I can understand how people are taken in by Peninsula Village, from the outside it looks ok, my parents trusted and had no idea that such things even exist in America, they believed as I did that it was a safe and caring program that would help their daughter like most school and health programs. People don't believe that something this insane, this Gulag like, would exist in America. No-one sees it from the inside except the daily staff and the girls really and us they do so much to discredit and keep down that we do not believe anyone will believe us or care. I feel as if I have just recently woken up from Peninsula Villageís nightmare and it has been seven + years. It is an evil, horrible place that should be shut down and they should have any licensing stripped from them and be brought up on child abuse charges.

 

I am sorry it has taken me so long to report PV but I was still very young when I was freed from there. I was also embarrassed, traumatized and I had no support in reporting the Village. I am still afraid of the social stigma and of the Village itself. It is hard for me not to believe that people canít show up at my door, proclaim that I have some sort of disorder, and carry me off to a room with heavy doors and no contact with the outside world, never to be heard from again. Your organization is against such things and protects people from them. What can be done to fix this horror? Why is this legal, how can they isolate and torture minors? I know girls are still suffering there! I reported PV to the Tennessee Child Protection Agency and they said that they had heard PV had cleaned up their act. This is blatantly untrue. There are a variety of websites and even a book, very recently written or posted, by parents of PV survivors or the girls themselves that prove PV has changed none of itís abusive practices, their website itself proves they are up to their same old game. I also reported PV to the local Tennessee police and they completely ignored me. Someone needs to investigate PV and they would see what I am saying is true. Again I officially swear that everything I have said here is completely true to the best of my knowledge and I would be more than happy to swear this in court. I would not be afraid of any form of liable issues because I know what I saw and experienced to be true, I am only afraid of social stigma in relation to my work and school and of PV itself.

 

Here are the requirements to be a PV counselor I took off the Covenant Health website job search:

 

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PROGRAM COUNSELOR

Job Code: 17673

Location: PENINSULA VILLAGE

Department: Girl's Outdoor Program

Description: Full Time Position: Four days/ three nights.

Requirements: Social services degree preferred, but H.S. diploma with experience will be considered.

Duties: Work in the outdoor setting with patients in a residential facility. Provide safety, supervision and therapy to adolescents in our care. Need extreme flexibility with scheduling and extensive availability.

Covenant Health is committed to a safe and healthy work environment. Therefore, employment is subject to a successful background check and drug screen. Also, a credit check may be performed on applicable positions that deal with handling money. EOE

Education: High School Diploma/GED

 

Here are the admission criteria for PV I took of the Peninsula Village website, obviously girls who are admitted after undergoing sexual abuse or a traumatic experience do not need to be tortured and have daily abusive therapy with counselors who may or may not have a high school diploma:

 

Admission Criteria

Patients come to Peninsula Village with a wide range of problems, diagnoses and symptoms including, but not limited to the following:

Depression, Anxiety, and other Mood Disorders

Alcohol and/or drug abuse/dependency

Disordered conduct and oppositional behavior

ADD/ADHD

Effects of traumatic experience

Disrespect of adult authority

Inability to tolerate frustration or boredom

Unhealthy self-centeredness

Unwillingness to adhere to conventional values/standards

Inability to behave independently and autonomously

Self-mutilation and/or other self-harming behaviors

Pattern of excessive passivity and clinging dependency in relationships

Eating disorders that are medically stable

Mood disorders

Behavioral disorders

Character pathologies

Difficulties in school environments

Sexual abuse issues

 

 

Exclusionary Criteria

Peninsula Village is unable to help every adolescent. Some problems that we cannot treat are:

Intelligence below the average range (Full Scale IQ below 90)

History of fire setting and pyromania

Sexual Offenders / Sexual Disorders

History of chronic/severe physical aggression including use of weapons

Physical or medical condition that would hinder participation in vigorous, outdoor activities (diabetes, epilepsy)

Homicidal intent at time of admission

Psychotic Disorders

Pregnancy (females)

thank you

 

Survivor's Report #3:  Peninsula Village

Everything in my statement is true. I give HEAL permission to use my statement.  I want to remain anonymous for now. I was sent to Peninsula Village back in Sept. 2004  Many things were horrible... just to name a few for now, because I do not want them to know who I am if they read this because I am working on trying to form a large lawsuit against them so yea but here are a few things I experienced there for about 6 months:

 

Being Physically restrained about twice daily on average where there was no reason for it whatsoever. An alarm kind of like a car alarm except much louder would be turned on and about 20 staff would come running into the unit and all basically jump me, throw me to the ground and sit on me to hold me down.... a few times they really hurt me.. I remember one instance in which they performed Xrays on my jaw and wrist from my restraint.

 

I would also be mechanically restrained when I "struggled" meaning when I was trying to escape my restraint because they were hurting me. I would be tied down to a bed and sometimes they would leave me there for hours or just about the whole day. If I had to go to the bathroom they would put a bedpan underneath me. disgusting. Also if I fell asleep they would come kick my bed and tell me to wake up. they said that being tied down was a punishment and not a treat of naptime. But it was a no wonder I was so tired. They had me way over medicated. I was put on Abilify for my agitation.. Every time they would restrain me, they would increase my dose.  I was up to 120 Mg daily. But thats not all... when I was restrained they would give me large dose shots in my ass of Klonopin, Haldol, Thorazine, etc. They would make me so tired I could have slept for days.  We had to eat on our beds, we didn't even get to sit at a table.  Bathroom times were on their terms... If we had to go when it was not bathroom break, we had to wait, and if it was a real emergency they would allow it but then you would get consequenced for it later on in consequence group. Who ever thought of being consequenced for having to use the bathroom?   We were not allowed to talk except in group therapy or if we raised our hand and were actually called on.  You had to sit on your bed with your back up against the wall. If you got off your bed, you would be restrained.

 

There were level systems which always made me feel bad about myself.  When you were restrained they would strip you of your clothing and make you wear hospital gowns until you contracted to move  up to wearing scrubs then contracting to wear your clothes.  The first day i got there I was restrained and in my restraint I vomited and they made me lay in it.  My face was covered in it for about 2 hours.

 

In my stay there i must have been restrained over 60 times and they were all completely unnecessary.  We were forced to participate in their AA or NA groups. i never had an addiction problem but they said I did. they said I liked tranqs.   they were wrong, i never had one of them in me until I came to PV.  i was forced to participate in Medicine wheel groups in which we had to learn and were tested on some kind of Native American Stuff.

 

The director of my unit at the time was not licensed he was actually denied by the board of health so he was misrepresenting himself. He told me once, "if you think you are smart enough to get kicked out of here and escape it here you are wrong"   I would not see my dad for weeks sometimes over a month.  My family therapy sessions would get taken away from me in which I could not talk to my dad much less see him

` if when i was talking to my dad and i tried to tell him how bad it was there they would end the family therapy session right there. they also told him I was incompetent and did not know what I was talking about when he heard me tell him about my bruises.  I was covered in bruises from the head down.  My mail was monitored by staff both outgoing and incoming.  That is all i am going to say for now.

 

The reason i was sent to PV was for PTSD from my mother passing away when i was 14.  If i would cry about it, they told me I was attention seeking.  My PTSD worsened alot from being at PV. to this day I still have nightmares and flashbacks from that place. 

 

Family Report #1

By L.W.

 

Everything in my statement is true. I give HEAL permission to use my statement.  My granddaughter was incarcerated by a family member at Peninsula Village for six months just before her seventeenth birthday and I can not say one good thing about the place. The week before she went there she visited with her grandfather and me. She was a joy to have around and I can not imagine this lovely child in an environment as abusive as Peninsula Village. We were told that we would not be able to see or talk to her until "her treatment was finished" and that this would be at least one year. We were also told that she would not be allowed to have her cello to play while she was there and that music was not allowed at all. She has played the cello since she was in fourth grade and music has always been a very important part of her life. I did not understand why she (or any child) would have ever been placed in a facility that did not allow music or literature to be a significant part of the program. I did not know that places like Peninsula Village exist in America. I called repeatedly to find out how my granddaughter was and my calls were essentially ignored. I could not get ANY information about her at all.  At one time a man who identified himself as the director of the girls section called me and kept me on the phone for at least fifteen minutes telling me what a great place Peninsula Village is. He would not answer any of my questions directly, and I hung up the phone more confused than before.

 

 I called Covenant Health who owns Peninsula Village after my granddaughter was restrained in front of her mother for "crying too much". Imagine my agony when I saw pictures of adults sitting on her to restrain her. I did not realize Covenant Health is not a hospital. It is a business. I asked to talk with the Administrator and treated rather like an idiot. I was told I would need to discuss this with the administrator of PV and they seem very surprised that the administrator had not returned my calls.  I was told that some one should have investigated what had happened to her but only arrived at dead ends when I searched for an agency that oversees places like Peninsula Village. The sheriff's dept in Blount Co told me that PV had their own security and they could not investigate an assault on a child that takes place there. My daughter also called Blount County to report the assault and was told that they could only investigate if "a staff member of PV was assaulted." I also contacted my senator and congressmen without a reply. Surely there has to be an organization that looks into these matter but to date I have not been able to find out who, or what. 

 

In the end, all my granddaughter came out of PV with is a sad case of post traumatic stress disorder. She and her mother have frequent nightmares now about PV. It is apparent that damage was done during her stay at PV. She will never be the same child.

At quite an expense to all of us she is out and will graduate with her class this June.

 

 

If you were abused or had your rights violated by Peninsula Behavioral Health, please e-mail us for information on submitting your statement.

 

 

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