Autistic Group Welcomes Ban of Electric Shock Torture

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From the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN): “Today, the Food and Drug Administration released their final ban on the electric skin shock devices used to torture children and adults with disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Center. The rule will go into effect in 30 days. The JRC will have 180 days to transition people currently subject to this torture off of the devices.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network welcomes this ban, which will finally end decades of shock torture at the JRC. We are relieved beyond measure that soon our community members will no longer be punished with dangerous electric shocks for doing things like standing up without permission, making noises, or crying in pain. This ban is long overdue. During the six years that the ban sat at the FDA, people were terrorized, injured, and traumatized as the JRC continued to use electric shocks to punish and control them.

The FDA final ban was released after decades of work from advocates in every sector who brought the abuse to light, insisted that it was wrong, and fought to end it… We are grateful to everyone who took a stand, and to the volunteers and grassroots organizers who joined ASAN’s advocacy campaigns and helped us hold the FDA accountable.

Above all, we are grateful to the survivors of the Judge Rotenberg Center. Without their advocacy, testimony, and the evidence they brought forward, publicly and privately, this regulation would not have been finalized. To the survivors, we say: what happened to you was wrong. It never should have happened. You did not deserve it. We are so sorry that you went through this. We are so sorry that it took us so long to stop it. You deserve so much better, and we will fight to make sure you have everything you need.”

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