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Book Cover for: Becoming UNSILENCED: Surviving and Fighting the Troubled Teen Industry, Meg Appelgate

Becoming UNSILENCED: Surviving and Fighting the Troubled Teen Industry

Meg Appelgate

As a 15-year-old, struggling with severe bullying, ADHD, adoption trauma, and undiagnosed autism, Meg became one of the unfortunate 120,000-200,000 youths who are funneled into the lucrative Troubled Teen Industry (TTI) every year. Over the next 3.5 years Meg was abused in two separate facilities that masqueraded as "treatment".

Over two decades later, Meg Appelgate has evolved into an advocate, activist and passionate spokesperson for survivors across the United States. In Becoming UNSILENCED, she details the institutional abuse she and her peers suffered and what led her to where she is today.

Deeply rooted in lived experience, Becoming UNSILENCED exposes the lack of institutional accountability and safeguards within the Troubled Teen Industry. It also confronts the tendency to pathologize typical adolescent behaviors, questions the effectiveness of "tough love" approaches, addresses deeply ingrained social issues, challenges faulty belief systems, and explores more healthy alternatives for desperate families.

Becoming UNSILENCED is a highly personal and invaluable first-hand account written for survivors and their parents, as well as for decision-makers and health professionals suggesting life-altering interventions for troubled teens.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Speak Publications
  • Publish Date: Apr 12nd, 2024
  • Pages: 192
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.00in - 6.00in - 0.69in - 0.92lb
  • EAN: 9798990133600
  • Categories: SurvivalAbuse - Child Abuse

About the Author

Appelgate, Meg: - After graduating from college and entering a fruitful two-decade career in nonprofits, fundraising, and board work, Meg Appelgate turned her attention to TTI advocacy work and founded UNSILENCED, a nonprofit that continues to make remarkable strides in the areas of connecting survivors to justice, awareness, education, legal advocacy, legislation, transparency, and community support. Find out more or donate at www.unsilenced.org

Praise for this book

Meg reminds us of the strength that comes from speaking our truth and fighting for justice! Proud of you! -Paris Hilton, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and survivor


Read this book to understand why tough-love residential treatment does not help troubled teens-and what must be done to prevent these businesses from preying on vulnerable families. -Maia Szalavitz, author of several books including Help At Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids, and contributing opinion writer for the New York Times

Thanks to Meg for her openness and bravery that threads itself through her memoir, and through her life's work. -Rachael Bernstein, educator, therapist, author, cult and re-acclamation specialist, board member of ICSA, and host of the weekly podcast, IndoctriNation

Becoming UNSILENCED gives voice to all the teens abused in a very troubling industry. An important and compelling read for understanding coercion and cultic environments. -Sarah Edmondson, author of Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult That Bound My Life, and host of the podcast A Little Bit Culty

This book also provides an excellent map and resources to those readers needing to deconstruct and understand their own experiences as young people growing up under religious group control. -Daniella Mestyanek Young, author of Uncultured, and scholar of cults, extreme groups, and extremely bad leadership


Meg Appelgate's heartfelt book adds to the increasing number of well written memoirs that document the misdiagnosis and mistreatment that characterize the Troubled Teen Industry. -Phil Elberg, attorney and Troubled Teen Industry expert


Applegate offers readers an example of how adult TTI survivors continue to heal through advocacy. Becoming UNSILENCED tells a story about what pushes so many to speak out, lifting voices together to sustain the social movement against institutionalized abuse. -Marcus Chatfield, TTI researcher and historian