SIA Organization (Survivors of Institutional Abuse) will host a convention in 2012 for survivors of unlicensed girls and boys homes. The time and place will be announced in early 2011 but it is expected to take place in early 2012 in Southern California.
Los Angeles, being the media capital that it is, is a prime place for survivors of many homes and unlicensed schools to come together and have their story heard. It will also be healing and empowering to meet others that will validate what survivors have been through collectively.
The inspiration for this convention is rooted in the successful reunions that have been held by survivors of other reform schools across the country. Survivors of Victory Christian Academy held their reunion in August 21, 2010 where a tree was planted on the property that once housed VCA in memory of Carey Dunn, and other victims, who have died as a result of abuse or injury incurred at unlicensed and abusive youth facilities. Survivors of New Bethany, which was closed following an investigation into the death of Guy Richardson, held their reunion around the same time.
A video posted of the VCA reunion drew interest from survivors of other homes, including New Bethany, Hephzibah House, New Horizons, and the Victory Girls Home in Florida (no relation to VCA in Ramona). The dedication and enthusiasm of survivors to get the word out on the abuse still happening in many of these facilities has inspired us to work together.
We have done a lot on our own but more can be accomplished if we work together.
If you are a survivor and would like to be involved in the planning of this convention, please visit sia-now.org or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.