Jennifer “Jen” Robison: Where is the Provo Canyon School Survivor Now?

With HBO Max’s ‘Teen Torture, Inc.’ exploring the darkness of the troubled teen industry through the eyes of those to have experienced it first-hand, we get a documentary series that raises some important issues. After all, this billion-dollar business has used “tough love” as a form of treatment for decades despite numerous deaths and individuals reporting it has done them more harm than good. Amongst them is actually Jennifer “Jen” Walker Robison, whose mental health issues as a teenager drove her parents to enlist her at Provo Canyon School, unaware of what would ensue.

Jen Robison’s Early Years Were Extremely Traumatic

Although Jen was born in a relatively stable household in a suburban area near Los Angeles, California, before being raised by her loving parents alongside her two brothers, things changed when she was eight years old. That’s when one of her family members was diagnosed with cancer and moved in with them, so watching them slowly wither away affected her in ways no one could’ve ever imagined. She, thus, grew detached and uninterested in her daily routines, resulting in her being prescribed some medications before she was officially diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

However, even this diagnosis didn’t help Jen because she ended up attempting suicide right before she turned 14, leading a counselor to suggest Provo Canyon School to her parents. This Springville, Utah-based institution is a psychiatric youth involuntary residential treatment center that uses the aforementioned tough love treatment, but little did the Walkers know it allegedly went to extremes. Jen’s parents were mental health professionals themselves, but since they couldn’t treat a loved one themselves, they trusted their peers and enlisted their only daughter in the school in 2003.

According to Jen’s own accounts, there was no privacy in this institution, there were capital punishments, you were thrown in isolation if you didn’t listen to orders, and much more. The worst of it for her came when she decided to run away at the age of 16 during an out-of-facility visit with her family – she didn’t think they would believe her, so she snuck away and chose to hitchhike to Salt Lak City. But alas, the person she believed to be her savior sexually assaulted her under a bridge before letting her go, and she wound up back at Provone, where neither her therapist nor her parents apparently believed her.

Jen had her attacker’s name, remembered the kind of car he drove, and was consistent with the details, yet her therapist allegedly claimed that because she didn’t fight a lot, it came across as her giving him a favor in exchange for a ride. The fact her therapist then stopped showing up, combined with her always having been called “Auschwitz” owing to her Jewish heritage, finally broke her – she decided to comply because she wanted to get away. Thankfully, within a year, she was allowed to return to her family, with whom she gradually managed to reconnect in more ways than one.

Jennifer “Jen” Robison is a Woman of Many Hats

Despite everything Jen endured as a teenager, she hasn’t let it stop her from pursuing her dreams or leading the kind of life she always wished she had as a child. It did likely take her a lot of actual therapy and self-work before she was able to come to terms with every aspect of her past, but she now seems utterly content with where she is. That’s because this former so-called “troubled teen” is currently residing in a beautiful, cozy farmland around southern Oregon alongside her loving husband of nearly nine years, Andrew Roibison, and their two children: daughter Matilda and son Simon.

Jen had actually tied the knot with Andrew on Halloween 2015, roughly three years after meeting him for the first time, shortly after which they chose to settle down and build a family of their own. She admittedly never even thought she’d live to see her late 20s, but she actually thrived in it, and now, at the age of 35, she’s continuing down that path as a caring daughter, sister, wife, mother, as well as an artist. This running enthusiast is even a dog mom to a pitbull named Spanky plus a chihuahua named Gypsy, in the company of whom she recently began homeschooling her daughter too – her son Simon just turned 1 in March 2024, so he’s not included in this schooling routine just yet.

Jennifer “Jen” Robison is Still Exposing the Troubled Teen Industry

While Jen’s priority is her family these days – she wants to give her kids the childhood she never had while supporting her husband as much as he unwaveringly supports her – she hasn’t given up on shining a light on the Troubled Teen Industry. In fact, apart from having played a pivotal role in establishing the #BreakingCodeSilence movement back around 2020, she continues to maintain her Youth in Disorder non-profit website to help educate the public on the matter. After all, she knows that being open about this issue, no matter how sensitive and personal, is the only way change can be brought about for good.

“I stood up and did the work because I badly wanted to see more people come forward so the reality of Institutional Child Abuse would be undeniable…,” she recently candidly penned, in part, as seen above. “…[It’s] painful to publicly talk about this subject as it relates to my own story. I often find myself conflicted between a sense of duty to speak because I am capable, and a want to guard my private life and happiness with my family… This hasn’t been an easy road. Despite the difficulties, speaking out has been worth it, to me. 🤍”

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