To Whom It May Concern,

What happened to Justina Pelletier goes far beyond a medical or custody dispute, and beyond child abuse. Justina was tortured.

Tragically, tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of children have suffered horrific abuse at fraudulent places who have no legitimate right to call themselves “residential treatment programs.” As I found early on in my advocacy, no two survivors’ stories are the same. These atrocities are well documented and one of these places is probably closer than you would think.

I volunteered as an advocate until the FBI knocked on my door. Sadly, the same United States Attorney and FBI office that ignored Justina’s suffering and her family’s pleas for over a year have decided to spend our tax dollars protecting those who tortured her as well as those who have tortured thousands of children elsewhere. No matter what the intent of this ill-conceived effort, if successful, it would result in victimizers being relabeled as victims, the intimidation of activists and advocates, and worst of all, the continued and unchallenged institutional abuse of children.

After seeing and hearing of so many such atrocities against children, understanding the struggle of advocates and survivors against already seemingly impossible odds, and not witnessing how little has changed as a result of the last tragic prosecution of an activist in Boston under the CFAA, I would rather die than allow Carmen Ortiz to succeed in this attempt to rewrite history. So I have begun a hunger strike. I will not eat, nor consent to any artificial nutrition until the might of the United States of America is once again focused on protecting its children, instead of those who abuse them.

Marty Gottesfeld


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