For years, the disability community has worked to end torture at the Judge Rotenberg Center. While we work towards an FDA ban on the use of electric shocks, there is critical state-level legislation that would affect the Judge Rotenberg Center. Massachusetts legislators have introduced a bill that would ban aversives. “Aversives” means using pain to punish people for doing certain things. This would be an important step towards closing the JRC, as their use of electric shock devices for behavior modification on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities would be banned.
Similar bills have been introduced almost every year, but unfortunately, the State legislature hasn’t passed any of them. This time, let’s make sure to let the legislators know we expect this bill to be a priority!
Here’s how to get involved:
- If you are a resident of Massachusetts,, call your State Representative. You can find your State Representative here. Ask them to support the bill to ban aversives – it is House Bill H.180.
- Next, call your State Senator. You can find your State Senator here. Ask them to also support the bill – it is the same bill, H.180.
When you call, you can use our script:
My name is [your full name] , and I am from [your city] . I am a constituent of [Senator/Representative NAME]. I’m calling to ask [Senator/Representative NAME] to support H.180 to ban aversive conditioning, or using pain to punish people. Aversive conditioning is harmful and not effective. Plus, Massachusetts is home to the only institution in the country to use electric shock devices for aversive conditioning on students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a practice which has been classified as torture by the United Nations. This bill would ban that and keep all people with disabilities safe.
Can I count on the [Senator/Representative]’s support for this bill?
If you aren’t a resident of Massachusetts, share this call to action! There will be other ways you can help #StopTheShock, but right now, we need your help to reach Massachusetts residents who can make their voices heard.
Our community can’t wait — we must take this critical step toward ending aversive conditioning. We know this fight has been a long, difficult path – but it’s not too late. Your advocacy will move us towards the day when we #StopTheShock for good. We need our Massachusetts-based members to call your state legislators! Please share this call to action with any resident of Massachusetts so we can make our voices heard.