Sunday 4 December 2016

'Humans of New York' Facebook page shares harrowing story of institutional abuse

Published 08/09/2015 | 12:39

The 'Humans of New York' community are calling for ways to help a man after the experiences he had in a care home were featured on the site.

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The Facebook page, which profiles ordinary people in New York and sometimes around the world, posted a series of three images on the one man this week.

Fans of the page are shocked by the man's story, which is harrowing. Many are calling for some sort of fundraiser to be started to help the man get off the streets.

The story, as explained to photographer Brandon Stanton, begins with the man explaining how he ended up in a care home.

"My dad gave me up to the boys’ home when I was four. He told me that he was taking me fishing".

"I kept screaming: ‘I’ll be good! I’ll be good! I’ll be good!’ And he kept saying, ‘It ain’t you. It ain’t you. It ain’t you.’ I ripped his shirt off his back trying to keep him from leaving, and he drove off without a shirt.”

The second installment deals with the harrowing abuse he and others suffered at the hands of the carers.

*Warning - upsetting content*.

"One of their favorite forms of punishment was the ‘full burn.’ First they’d make you take your clothes off and lay on the carpet. One of them would sit on your back, and the other one would pull you all the way down the hall".

He spoke of a man he called "The Ice Man". He detailed how 'The Ice Man' would make a "date" with the children in the home, in which he would come into their room, rape them and force them to perform a sex act.

"Then afterward, he’d tell you when your next date was going to be, just so you’d have to worry about it all week. Ten of us tried to escape when I was seventeen. I had a 'date' with The Ice Man coming up so I figured I had nothing to lose".

The HONY effect: How 'Humans of New York' is altering lives  

The final installment of this man's story discusses his escape attempt - which resulted in long-term consequences. A group of ten children and teens from the care home decided to try to escape. The first night, two of the group attempted to steal food for the rest but the police were called.

"I was the one they chased. I started to run up this mountain and I remember them shouting to me: ‘It’s going to snow tonight!’

All I had on were Nikes. And that night a blizzard came. I’d never been in a blizzard before. So I tried to get off the mountain, but it was dark by then and snowing hard so I fell 30 feet into a ravine. I was unconscious for a long time".

"When I woke up I was covered in snow, and my foot was frozen solid."

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