Salvation Army admits systemic child abuse

THE Salvation Army has told a Victorian sex abuse inquiry it is ashamed of the treatment of children that occurred in its homes, as it revealed it has paid out more than $15 million to victims and that 50 Salvation Army officers had been named as abusers.
In a statement to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry, Salvation Army legal secretary Malcolm Roberts said, “The Salvation Army is ashamed of the treatment many children placed in our care in children’s homes received.
“This should not have happened and this was a breach of the trust that was placed in us.
We are deeply sorry.
“We are ashamed and deeply regret what occurred all those years ago and for those who were abused and whose lives have been so damaged I sincerely apologise on behalf of the Salvation Army.”
He said that since compensation claims began to arise in the late 1990s, the Salvation Army had received 474 abuse claims, 470 of which arose out of children’s homes, the last of which was closed in the 1980s.
He said the Salvation Army had so far paid out $15.5 million and had an annual budget of $4 million for abuse compensation.
Under intense questioning, Captain Roberts said the Salvation Army had not conducted an investigation into allegations of systemic abuse at homes including the Box Hill and Bayswater boys homes and the East Camberwell girls home, in Melbourne’s east, even after a judge found there was a “nest of pedophiles” at Bayswater, who would abuse boys at the home and take them away from the home to abuse and torture them.
He said the Salvation Army would conduct such an investigation if directed by the inquiry, but said, “The difficulty of this situation is that so many of these people are dead.”
Captain Roberts revealed that 50 Salvation Army officers had been “named” in allegations of abuse.
Of those 50, he said, 37 were deceased, three or four were in jail and two were still active officers, against whom nothing had been proved.
He said he had seen a service card for one officer who was put on “sick leave” and then transferred away from children’s homes after confessing in March 1950 to the sexual abuse of four boys at Box Hill and Bayswater. He said he knew the officer was never assigned to a children’s home again, but did not know whether he was reported to police.
Captain Roberts said the Salvation Army was endeavouring to respond to abuse claims in a “caring and compassionate manner”, but angered victims at the hearing when he said he did not believe there was a pedophile ring at Bayswater and that he did not believe the Salvation Army hierarchy knew of the abuse.
Outside the inquiry, Alf Stirling, 72, and Brian Cherrie, 60, who have been compensated for the abuse they suffered at Bayswater and Box Hill homes, condemned the Salvation Army for not investigating the suffering that occurred in its homes.
The Salvation Army made a formal apology for the abuse of children in its care up to the 1990s in Canberra in 2010, in which they acknowledged the “rigid, harsh and authoritarian” environment inside many of its homes.

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3 Responses to “Salvation Army admits systemic child abuse”

  1. Anonymous says:

    My dad got out of jail in 2004 for sexually abusing me and the salvation army gave him a job as a call handler answering the phone to victims of abuse he was guilty of.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I went to an orphanage school in the sixties, we would have prominent footballers come to choose boys to take out.
    This always meant they would take us to parties where we were given drugs and had to have sex.
    Two were black and one white guy had anger issues and would head butt boys in the face, many had broken faces, hospital treatment was not allowed, they were always patched up in school

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Tap, seems a strange topsy turvey world when perverts are given awards from the Queen.
    The Government are Drug Dealers and are using our Soldiers to protect the poppy fields.
    Football is promoted by the Elite, where a lot of them are perverts.
    Where the Police are used as the whipping boys to get rid of evidence against Children’s Homes.
    It’s a lot to take in, when I presumed the Law was to protect the honest population.

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