Child abuse inquiry says orphanages were places of ‘threat and abuse’
11 October 2018
Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry
Children at Smyllum Park orphanage were sexually abused and beaten with leather straps, hairbrushes and crucifixes, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has found.
Nuns belonging to the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul ran the Catholic Children’s home near Lanark, as well as Bellevue House, Rutherglen.
Lady Smith, who is chairing the inquiry, has published a report on evidence heard during the case study.
She said the homes were places of fear, threat, and excessive discipline.
The judge said emotional, physical and sexual abuse took place.
The children found “no love, no compassion, no dignity and no comfort,” she said.
A total of 54 witnesses told of their experiences at Smyllum Park, which closed in 1981, and Bellevue House, which closed in 1961, and 21 written statements were submitted.
What did the inquiry report say?
Lady Smith’s interim report into the Smyllum and BelleVue case studies concluded:
Children were abused while in the care of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul
They were sexually abused in Smyllum by priests, a trainee priest, nuns, members of staff and a volunteer. The abuse was, in some cases, prolonged.
There was also problematic sexual behaviour by other children.
Children were hit with implements, the punishment being either excessive or for reasons which the child could not fathom.
The implements used included leather straps, the “Lochgelly Tawse,” hairbrushes, sticks, footwear, rosary beads, wooden crucifixes and a dog’s lead.
For some children, being hit was a normal aspect of daily life.
The physical punishments meted out to children went beyond what was acceptable at the time whether as punishment in schools or in the home.
Children who were bed-wetters were abused physically and emotionally.
They were beaten, put in cold baths and humiliated in ways that included “wearing” their wet sheets and being subjected to hurtful name-calling by Sisters and by other children.
Many children were force-fed.
Children were used as unpaid labour.
Many children were forced to queue in a state of undress for a bath and shared bathwater that was too hot or cold and dirty.
There was no system for marking children’s birthdays. Some children didn’t know when their birthday was.
Children were abused for being left-handed and forced to use their right hands instead.
Some were abused for being Protestants and one child was told the Jewishness would be knocked out of him….
121 – Number of complaints of alleged historical abuse at Smyllum made to the Order between 1998 and 2002 That’s 37 complaints against individual sisters, 23 complaints against lay staff, four complaints against priests and two complaints against scout leaders)
26 – Number of complaints of alleged abuse at Bellevue made to the Order between 1998 and 2002 (That includes 18 complaints against individual sisters and five complaints against lay staff)
99 – Number of civil actions raised against the Order in relation to Smyllum
18 – Number of civil actions raised against the Order in relation to Bellevue….
Spiritual Leader Raped 2 Women During Ceremonies, Prosecutors Say
By Michael Gold Oct. 10, 2018
A 42-year-old woman went to a Brooklyn apartment in August 2016 to meet a self-described spiritual leader for what she thought was a “church ceremony.” She had met him at a religious goods store.
During the ceremony, the man, Nigel Kennedy, started chanting and poured a drink that tasted like alcohol into the woman’s mouth, prosecutors said. She passed out briefly, then regained consciousness and felt someone on top of her. The next morning she awoke naked on an unfamiliar bed, feeling nauseous and dizzy, and realized she had been raped, prosecutors said.
Mr. Kennedy, 51, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn to charges of rape and sexual abuse. He is accused of drugging and raping two women in Brooklyn during separate religious ceremonies two years apart….