Have You Experienced Sexual Assault Or Abuse?

Evoke Wilderness Therapy

Evoke Therapy Programs in Utah is just one of many providers in the troubled teen industry facing allegations of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of staff or due to conditions at their sites. If you or a loved one were victims of abuse while attending, you have legal rights and options we can help you explore.

Survivor Advocate

Key Takeaways

  • Evoke Therapy Programs, headquartered in Santa Clara, Utah, operates the Evoke Entrada wilderness therapy program, which has been the subject of numerous abuse complaints.
  • Abuse allegations at Evoke Entrada include rights violations, denial of medical care, and sexual and emotional abuse.
  • People who are victims or survivors of Evoke Entrada can report incidents to law enforcement and connect with an experienced attorney through Helping Survivors.

Wilderness therapy programs are part of the broader troubled teen industry. Private companies run these programs with little oversight or regulation. Unfortunately, participants are particularly vulnerable to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse by both staff and other participants. Children abused in these programs may feel isolated, unable to connect with a family who sent them away, and unaware that help is available.

Children who attended Evoke Entrada wilderness therapy have alleged several forms of abuse at its Utah site. Survivors of abuse at Evoke and other wilderness programs can seek mental health support to overcome the damage done by their Evoke experience. They can also report their abuse to state officials and, with the help of an experienced sexual abuse attorney, explore filing a sexual abuse lawsuit to pursue damages.

Evoke Wilderness Therapy Overview

Evoke Entrada is a wilderness therapy program operated by Evoke Therapy Programs, based in Santa Clara, Utah. The company offers wilderness therapy for teenagers and young adults. Participants go backpacking in the desert mountains of southwest Utah, ostensibly to develop emotional and physical skills. The company also employs therapists to help children with their problems.

Evoke Entrana reportedly changed its name from Second Nature Entrada in 2015 following years of abuse complaints.

According to the nonprofit Breaking Code Silence, an advocacy group for troubled teen industry survivors, participants hike to remote areas of southwest Utah during the wilderness portion of the program. They are initially isolated from and not allowed to talk to other teenagers. They must complete an assignment related to telling their life story. After approximately one week, they integrate into the group and complete additional assignments.

In the later phases of the program, teens are purportedly given additional privileges and responsibilities and assigned additional tasks, such as learning how to use a map and a compass.

However, in online program reviews and social media posts, teens who participated in Evoke Entrada wilderness therapy report unqualified staff, lack of proper medical care, unsanitary conditions, and emotional abuse.

Last Date Modified
May 15, 2024

Evoke Wilderness Therapy Abuse Allegations

There is little state or federal oversight over the troubled teen industry and wilderness therapy programs. They have a troubling history of abuse and neglect, including participant deaths. Other programs, such as Trails Carolina, face abuse allegations. Many former Evoke participants have come forward to discuss abuse in the Utah wilderness therapy provider.

On social media, individuals who attended Evoke Entrada allege they experienced the following:

  • Denial of medical care
  • Frostbite
  • Brainwashing by staff
  • Rights violations, such as forcing participants to remove their pants at night as part of “run watch” to discourage runaways
  • Mishandling medication
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological abuse

Children may also experience abuse during what some term “wilderness therapy kidnapping.” Parents allow program staff or others to essentially kidnap their children to get them to the wilderness camp. Kids may be restrained, blindfolded, and taken in vehicles in the middle of the night.

Because parents give consent, this form of “kidnapping” is technically legal. However, there are limits to what people can do when they take the child. Behavior that falls under Utah assault or sexual abuse crimes could result in criminal charges or a lawsuit. Children may also suffer additional emotional harm if taken to a wilderness program without their consent.

There does not appear to be any current lawsuits against Evoke Entrada.

However, given the history of alleged abuse at the program and statements by participants on social media, there may be lawsuits against Evoke being worked on by experienced attorneys as more participants come forward.

Rights & Options for Individuals Who Experienced Abuse at Evoke Wilderness Therapy

People who experienced abuse at Evoke Entrada have rights and options for reporting their abuse and seeking compensation. They can also get help from mental health providers and network with others with similar experiences.

File a Lawsuit Against Evoke Entrada

People who experienced abuse at Evoke Entrada Wilderness Therapy can file a civil lawsuit for economic and non-economic damages for the harm that happened to you. Depending on the circumstances, you can name the individual who abused you or the company itself. If the individual was an employee, you can sue them for their actions and pursue a claim against Evoke for negligence in hiring and supervision under a theory of vicarious liability. If another program participant abused you and you reported it to Evoke staff, your best course of action may be to file against the company for negligence in keeping you safe.

Consulting an experienced attorney as soon as possible is crucial for preserving your right to pursue a lawsuit. If you do not file within a period specified by law, known as the statute of limitations, you may not be able to pursue a claim.

Utah has no statute of limitations for a civil lawsuit over the sexual abuse of a minor. However, if you pursue a personal injury claim alleging the program’s negligence caused you to suffer physical or emotional abuse or neglect, your claim will likely fall under the state’s four-year statute of limitations.

Report Individuals at Evoke Wilderness Therapy to Law Enforcement

If your abuse also amounted to a crime, alert law enforcement to the treatment you endured at Evoke. For example, Utah has criminal laws against unlawful sexual activity with a minor that depend on the age difference between the victim or survivor and the perpetrator. Regardless of age, sexual intercourse without consent is rape.

If you complained of physical or sexual abuse or neglect to Evoke Entrada and they did not report it to law enforcement, the program’s officials may be prosecuted for failure to report. Utah’s law is broad, applying not only to doctors and therapists. Anyone who suspects abuse or sees it happening and wilfully fails to report it may face criminal charges.

Seek Mental Health Support

The burden of your experience both as a program participant in general and even further if you experienced abuse while attending, could lead to PTSD, an increased risk of substance use, problems with relationships, and other long-term emotional issues. If you are the victim of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse at Evoke Entrada or another wilderness therapy program, you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are many options to get the mental health support you need.

Survivors of abuse at Evoke Entrada or elsewhere can seek help through the following nonprofit agencies, support groups, online communities, and helpful books:

Participants travel to Evoke Entrada from states around the country. Abuse survivors can also explore their local and state resources to find support groups and other emotional health aid. For example, survivors in Utah can connect with the University of Utah Huntsman Mental Health Institute or SAFEUT, which has a chat function for victims and survivors to reach licensed counselors at no cost.

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