Child abuse survivors at Bridge of Weir home say scale of attacks is comparable to Jersey ‘house of horror’

A lawyer for victims said there was evidence  of a ‘Quarriers way’ during the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

A lawyer for victims at the facility in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, drew similarities with the notorious Haut de la Garenne children’s home in Jersey.
The former Quarriers home in Bridge of Weir

Stuart Gale QC told the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry there was evidence of a “Quarriers way” similar to the “Jersey way” of protecting powerful figures and preventing whistle-blowing.

Speaking during closing statements of phase one of the inquiry, he also said survivors are disappointed with the “weasel words” used by some organisations to avoid issuing full, unequivocal apologies for abuse under their care.

More than 20 former residents of Quarriers during the 1970s have complained of abuse.

Gale said Quarriers “continue to underplay the extent of abuse that occurred within the institution and the attendant failures of their systems to prevent abuse.”

Victims have criticised Quarriers and numerous other organisations for the lack of record-keeping at the time of the abuse and possible removal of records in later years.

Mr Gale added: “We cannot understate the further harm caused to survivors by the intimidation of witnesses in the criminal trials and the tactics deployed on behalf of Quarriers in the civil litigations, which were designed  to doubt the evidence of those whose abusers had been convicted.”

Quarriers were contacted but could not be reached for comment.

david.bateman@the-sun.co.uk

Child abuse survivors at Bridge of Weir home say scale of attacks is comparable to Jersey ‘house of horror’

Ex-child abuse inquiry chairwoman Susan O’Brien loses damages claim

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-40506074 

A £500,000 damages claim brought against the Scottish government by the former chairwoman of a child abuse inquiry has been thrown out of court.

A judge ruled Susan O’Brien QC’s compensation claim should be dismissed.

He said she had failed to plead a relevant case of breach of contract or infringement of article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Lord Pentland held that the case advanced on behalf of Ms O’Brien for breach of contract was “misconceived”.

He ruled that the article 8 breach arguments of the action, covering the right to respect for private and family life, were “unsound”.

Ms O’Brien was appointed to head the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in July 2015 but resigned a year later after facing the sack over “unacceptable” comments.

She was replaced by High Court judge Lady Smith.

‘Proportionate and fair’

Ms O’Brien raised an action for damages at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

She had sought an order from the court declaring ministers’ actions in invoking procedure under the Inquiries Act 2005, proposing to terminate her appointment, amounted to a breach of contract and were incompatible with her rights.

The Scottish government said it welcomed the decision to dismiss the damages claim.

A spokesman said it confirmed “that ministers acted lawfully in exercising their responsibilities under the Inquiries Act 2005 and other relevant legislation”.

The spokesman added: “The judge has confirmed that the decision by ministers to undertake an investigation was, in the circumstances, appropriate, proportionate and fair.

“The focus of the Scottish government remains on supporting the successful operation of the independent public inquiry.”

 

Scottish child abuse inquiry hears apologies over ‘deplorable’ attacks 

child abuse survivors
Image caption Child abuse survivors gathered for a vigil outside Rosebery House before the inquiry startedThe first hearing in the Scottish child abuse inquiry has heard apologies from organisations which ran children’s homes around the country.

More than 60 institutions, including several top private schools and church bodies, are being investigated.

The inquiry, which is being chaired by Lady Smith, is looking in detail at historical abuse of children in residential care.

It is expected to report in late 2019 – four years after it was set up.

The opening session in Edinburgh heard apologies from groups who said they “deplored that physical sexual abuses could occur”.

They included Quarrier’s, Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, Sisters of Nazareth, Good Shepherd Sisters, De La Salle Brothers and Christian Brothers.

Lady Smith began the public hearings by acknowledging that many children in Scotland have been abused in residential care over the years.

Lady Smith
               Image copyright Nick Mailer
               Image caption Lady Smith has urged victims and witnesses to come forward

The High Court judge revealed the number of survivors who had already spoken to the inquiry team was “very far in excess” of 200.

She said: “They suffered some terrible treatment inflicted by those to whom their care was entrusted. That is a matter of grave concern.

“It is critically important that our community engages in facing up to the fact that children in care were wronged and failed in the past and to commit to seeing to it that children of today and of the future are safe.

“It’s not easy to do that, for many it will be a painful process. But if we are to achieve real, substantial and lasting change for the better it has to be done.”

‘Cruelly betrayed’

John Scott QC, for the In Care Abuse Survivors group (Incas), said children had been “cruelly betrayed by those supposed to care for them”.

He said the inquiry had come too late for those who have already died, but added: “It is not too late for at least some acknowledgement and accountability, not too late for some compensation, not too late for other survivors to come forward.”

The hearings have now been adjourned until Thursday.

The inquiry states its purpose as being “to investigate the nature and extent of abuse of children whilst in care in Scotland”, while considering “the extent to which institutions and bodies with legal responsibility for the care of children failed in their duty”, in particular seeking any “systemic failures”.

It classes “in care” as being:

  • Children’s homes (including residential care provided by faith based groups)
  • Secure care units including List D schools
  • Borstals and Young Offenders’ Institutions
  • Places provided for Boarded Out children in the Highlands and Islands
  • State, private and independent Boarding Schools, including state funded school hostels
  • Healthcare establishments providing long term care, and any similar establishments intended to provide children with long term residential care
  • Children in foster care

But it does not cover children who were abused while living with their natural or adoptive families, while using sports and leisure clubs or attending faith based organisations on a day to day basis.

The inquiry will also not examine allegations of children being abused in non-boarding schools, nursery or day-care centres.

Its terms of reference say it covers a time period “within living memory of any person who suffered such abuse”, up until the point the inquiry was announced in December 2014, and will consider if “changes in practice, policy or legislation are necessary” to protect children in care from abuse in future.


child abuse

Analysis by Reevel Alderson, BBC Scotland home affairs correspondent

The inquiry’s remit has been criticised as being too narrow, even though the government says it is the widest public inquiry they have ever established.

Some campaigners say that while abuse in residential schools, for example by a priest, would be covered, abuse by the same person in a parish or working with a youth organisation like the Scouts would not.

And it has also been criticised for not dealing with the question of redress or compensation, which by contrast has been the case with other inquiries in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Jersey and Australia.


The inquiry at Rosebery House, in Edinburgh’s Haymarket, will hear from survivor groups and large care providers as well as faith-based organisations.

Among those appearing will be representatives of the Church of Scotland/CrossReach, the Benedictines, Barnardo’s and Aberlour Child Care Trust.

The Scottish government will give evidence on “the nature, extent and development of the state’s areas of responsibility for children in residential and foster care in Scotland”.

Survivors’ vigil

Some survivors and campaigners staged a vigil outside the building before the inquiry got under way.

They also organised a minute’s silence at 13:00 “to remember those children whose lives have been taken by abusers, those who have lost their lives from the affects of abuse and those who have died without gaining justice for the crimes committed against them”.

The inquiry has been plagued by problems since it was set up in October 2015. Around £6m has been spent on it during this period.

child abuse survivors
Image caption Flowers were laid outside Rosebery House by survivors and campaigners
child abuse flowers

Its original chairwoman, Susan O’Brien QC, resigned from her post in July 2016, citing government interference.

A second panel member, Prof Michael Lamb, also resigned, claiming the inquiry was “doomed”.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said at the time that he rejected any charges of interference in the independence of the inquiry, and that the Scottish government wanted a “robust independent inquiry that can operate without fear or favour”.

Thanks to the sun for the original article Thanks to Wild Cat for her Video on Stv News.

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Opening_statement

Scottish child abuse inquiry investigates top private schools 

Fettes CollegeImage copyright Google
Image caption Fettes College is one of the boarding schools being investigated by inquiry staff, the chairwoman confirmed

More than 60 institutions, including several top private schools, are being investigated by the Scottish child abuse inquiry, it has been confirmed.

The new chairwoman of the inquiry, Lady Smith, said they were among 100 locations where abuse is alleged to have taken place.

She said several boarding schools, including Fettes College and Gordonstoun, were being investigated.

The inquiry will look in detail at historical abuse of children in care.

Lady Smith replaces the original chairwoman who resigned in July 2016. Susan O’Brien stood down complaining of government interference.

Speaking at the start of the inquiry at the Court of Session building in Edinburgh, Lady Smith insisted the investigation would be fully independent.

She confirmed that several boarding schools were being investigated by inquiry staff.

Other institutions being investigated include those run by faith-based organisations and major care providers like Quarriers and Barnardo’s.

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Institutions under investigation

Boarding schools

  • Fettes College
  • Gordonstoun
  • The former Keil School
  • Loretto School
  • Merchiston Castle School
  • Morrison’s Academy (when it was a boarding school)

Institutions run by religious orders

  • Benedictines
  • Sisters of Nazareth
  • Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul
  • Christian Brothers
  • Sisters of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
  • De la Salle Brothers
  • Marist Brothers
  • Church of Scotland (Crossreach)

Other providers

  • Quarriers
  • Barnardo’s
  • Aberlour Child Care Trust
  • Widower’s Children’s Home

Local authority establishments

  • Clerwood Children’s Home, Edinburgh
  • Colonsay House, Perth
  • Nimmo Place Children’s Homes, Perth
  • St Margaret’s Children’s Home, Fife
  • Linwood Hall Children’s Home, Fife
  • Kerelaw Secure Unit, Glasgow
  • St Katherine’s Secure Unit, Edinburgh
  • Larchgrove Remand Home, Glasgow

Source: Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

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Lady Smith also said child migrants were “expressly included in the inquiry”, with staff working to contact people in countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand who may have suffered abuse in Scotland.

The first public hearings will begin on 31 May 2017 and the inquiry is expected to last four years.

The judge told the court that she would act independently and without bias, and was fully independent of government, police and prosecutors.

The judge added she would not have agreed to chair the inquiry if she had concerns about its independent status.

‘Systematic failures’

The inquiry states its purpose as being “to investigate the nature and extent of abuse of children whilst in care in Scotland”, while considering “the extent to which institutions and bodies with legal responsibility for the care of children failed in their duty”, in particular seeking any “systemic failures”.

Its terms of reference say it covers a time period “within living memory of any person who suffered such abuse”, up until the point the inquiry was announced in December 2014, and will consider if “changes in practice, policy or legislation are necessary” to protect children in care from abuse in future.

Lady Smith
Image caption Lady Smith, pictured, was appointed to chair the inquiry after the resignation of Susan O’Brien QC

The inquiry has been plagued by problems since it was set up in October 2015. More than £3.5m has been spent on it during this period.

As well as the original chairwoman quitting last July, a second panel member, Prof Michael Lamb, also resigned, claiming the inquiry was “doomed”.

Lady Smith was appointed to replace Ms O’Brien, but Mr Swinney said he was confident a replacement for Prof Lamb was not needed – although he added that experts could be called in to assist Lady Smith and remaining panel member Glenn Houston.

There were also complaints about the remit of the inquiry, with survivors’ groups claiming some abusers could be could be “let off the hook” if children’s’ organisations, clubs and local parish churches were not specifically included in the probe.

However, Mr Swinney told MSPs that it was clear there was “not unanimity on this issue”, concluding that the probe should focus only on in-care settings so that it remained “deliverable within a reasonable timescale”.

He said “terrible crimes” had been committed in other settings, such as day schools and youth groups, but said criminal behaviour should be referred to the police and would be “energetically pursued through the criminal courts” where evidence exists.

A bill has been introduced at Holyrood removing any time bar on people seeking damages over childhood abuse.

We Thank the  Source of the  original story which has been republished on this site.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-38799049

Children still not reporting sexual exploitation, NSPCC warns

Child sexual exploitation is still ‘woefully under-reported’ in the UK, the NSPCC has warned.

The charity said many young victims don’t understand that what is happening to them is grooming and exploitation, because offenders use manipulative tactics.

It is now calling on concerned adults to raise the alarm if they suspect a young person might be in danger.

Nearly 2,000 of the country’s most vulnerable youngsters have been helped by the Protect and Respect service it set up in 2011.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11:  A Police officer stands outside New Scotland Yard after a report into the sexual allegations of the late TV star Jimmy Savile was released on January 11, 2013 in London, England. The report  by the Metropolitan police and NSPCC on Jimmy Savile gives details the scale of his sexual abuse of children from 1955 to 2009.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Adults are being told to stay aware (Picture: Getty Images)

NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless said: ‘Young people will not always recognise that they are being exploited and treated as property.

‘We want every child to be able to spot exploitation for what it is and, if they find themselves in danger, know that it is categorically not their fault.

‘Our Protect and Respect service is showing them how to spot potential abusers, find their way out of an exploitative cycle and help them on the road to recovery.

‘We are imploring any adult who suspects a child is being exploited to pick up the phone and call the NSPCC Helpline.

‘This abuse is sadly still woefully under-reported and, for us to help these children, we need people to speak up.’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by KEITH MEATHERINGHAM/DOBSON A/REX/Shutterstock (4891334h)nGiant sand art footprintsnGiant footprint sand art created for NSPCC campaign on Filey beach, Yorkshire, Britain - 01 Jul 2015nGiant footprints have been created on Filey beach in Yorkshire for the NSPCC, to inspire the nation to leave a lasting legacy for children. Created by world-renowned British sand artist Jamie Wardley, the six footprints represent the one sixth of the NSPCC's funding that comes from gifts in wills. Jamie spent around 5 hours creating the six 3D anamorphic footprints with the finished design measuring over 60 metres in depth and 20 metres in width.n

The warning comes from the NSPCC (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Launched in November 2011, Protect and Respect is open to children and teenagers aged 10 to 19, and works with agencies such as the police and social services to identify and support youngsters who have been sexually exploited or are at risk of falling victim.

 

The services has directly helped 1,866 children and young people so far, including 1,493 kids between the ages of 10 and 15.

Earlier this year ministers unveiled plans for a new £40million attack on child exploitation.

The drive includes the launch of a new centre of expertise and plans to create a new national database of missing people.

http://metro.co.uk/2017/05/13/children-still-not-reporting-sexual-exploitation-nspcc-warns-6634595/

Many Thanks To The Original News Source for this story.