Hephzibah House Journal

Hephzibah House Journal
Susan Grotte's journal from her experience as a student at Hephzibah House, told in short-story form.

Thursday, September 19, 2019


To whom it may concern:

I arrived at Hepzhibah House towards the end of 2001 at the age of 12 and a half and left at the beginning of 2005 at almost 16 years old. During my time there I not only suffered physical and mental abuse but I also witnessed the abuse of others while I was there. Upon my arrival, they (staff) required us to undergo a "medical" exam from someone who they claimed was a doctor. The staff members put me in a small closet where the exam was to be performed. While getting prepared for their "doctor" to come into the closet,  I'm already crying and telling the staff that I already had a full physical exam done by my own family physician before arriving there and that I didn't want to go through this again. The staff member slapped me across the face and told me this was a requirement and that I needed to just suck it up and comply with the rules. As I'm crying more, this said doctor comes into the closet to perform this exam. He didn't say a word to me. He wasn't wearing anything to identify himself as a doctor. So no scrubs, no white coat, just jeans and a collared polo type shirt. The staff member that had just slapped me is now holding me down on this table as I am dreaming and telling them NO repeatedly  and another staff member was prying my legs apart for this doctor. At this time, I'm not being held down and restricted by two staff members. There was no type of sink or anything in this room so the doctor didn't wash his hands. This "exam" he did lasted for what seemed like forever to me but probably about 30-45 minutes. During the entire time, as I'm being held down and my legs held in a pried open manner I'm screaming as loud as I possibly can hoping that someone will hear me to help me. This "doctor" shoved different objects that I wasn't able to see inside of me during this examination and I screamed even more in shear pain and agony added to the terror I was already in! I just wanted it to stop! When it was finally over, the staff made me clean up my own blood and mess from the eternal damage they had done! It hurt so bad for so long after this traumatic experience I could barely move or walk.

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