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Survivors branded Liars

The Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL) has criticised the government’s report (31 Oct) into abuse in children’s homes, saying it brands survivors of abuse as liars and will stop some from reporting crimes in the future.

ACAL says the House of Commons Select Committee Inquiry into alleged false allegations of child abuse has reached incorrect conclusions because of the type of evidence it called.

It says the inquiry failed to talk to the survivors of abuse, instead relying on pleas of innocence from those who had been prosecuted and their families.

Reacting to the government report, it says:

  • Whilst ACAL deplores any miscarriages of justice and encourages any changes in the law, it must not discriminate unfairly against survivors of abuse from the care system.
  • ACAL is concerned that people accused of abuse could be granted anonymity in the future; it says this is unfair as it amounts to giving privileges to the accused. If there is to be any change to the law it should apply at the very least to all types of sexual offence, and not discriminate wrongfully against the survivors of abuse in children’s homes
  • The police “trawling” system (so called) has been essential to uncover widespread child abuse in our care system, and has been satisfactorily regulated since its inception. Government
    interference is not necessary.
  • Any suggestion that survivors are motivated by greed is an insult to their testimony and is likely to discourage openness in an area that desperately needs to encourage disclosure.
  • The Criminal Injuries Compensation system clearly does not provide a proper system of just rewards for the survivor of sex crimes, and urgently needs reform.
  • Compensation for the survivors paid by those responsible is essential to put right the wrongs committed by the establishment in a care system.
  • The Committee selected too much witness evidence from the false allegations lobby and failed to call any evidence from survivors of abuse.
  • The Committee have accepted evidence from many convicted abusers who say they were falsely accused and impugned the credibility of survivors who allege abuse in the same way that the owners of children’s homes behaved many years ago when children made complaints and were ignored.
  • The Committee’s suggestion that substitution of the Civil Court compensation System with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority offends Human Rights legislation

“We are very angry that the rights of the genuine abuse victims have not been given enough attention by the committee. We are concerned that this report will discourage survivors from coming forward”, says Peter Garsden of Abney Garsden McDonald solicitors, Vice-President of ACAL (Association of Child Abuse Lawyers)

21 thoughts on “Survivors branded Liars

  1. i was in care in the 60s and the 70s. a few foster homes where i was abused then on to children's homes where i was continually raped for about 2 years by the boys that lived there and their friends. The wardens of the children's home kept telling me it was my fault , i was about 13. No one listened or took action. i even went to the police station on my own to report these boys, The police did not listen they bought me back to the home and left me there. i tried to commit suicide by cutting my wrists, and cry for help .Still no one listened. Nothing happened to the boys in the home or their mates, but i was sent to a different home back in london. Needless to say i had no education really. to many different schools. i was in the children's home in London eventually i got kicked out for misbehaving. Westminster Social Services then put me in a bed and breakfast hotel in Queensway a notorious red light district at14. The hotel i was in was full of prostitutes and pimps. i had to travel from Queensway to Victoria everyday to get 1 pound to live on. After bus fare, what i could buy was a bag of chips and a coke. i was hungry. i stared shoplifting for food which progressed on clothes. i was always being harassed by punters looking for sex. i started getting into abusive relationships. went prison on my 16 birthday, Holloway, Stayed there for about a year came out to nothing got nicked went back in. Then when i came out of prison when i was 18 went to see the probation officer for help to get a roof over my head and she said because i am now an adult Westminster is not responsible for me anymore so i was homeless. Most of the poeple that were in care with me are either dead on drugs or in prison. i am just waiting for Westminter to send me my file that they told me they had lost about 1o years ago. Now they have it. I want to know why i was in hospital so much. No one told my anything but i was in Wexham park hospital for a month and i don't know what for. When i was in the B and B i was so lonely never talking to anyone for days. My time in care has definatly affected me. Abusive relationships in trouble with the law. Up to now no one has ever bothered asking me or offered me any form of counselling for what happened to me im 53 and still feel bad and often get flashbacks that make me want to end my life. I also witnessed other younger children getting abused by the wardens in the children's home but those wardens are more then likely dead now so who gives a damn. My name is Karen.

  2. Sad to hear that your brother was forced to take his own life by the reason of the abuse he suffered for so many years. I was in Children's homes for about 10 years and knew the brutality of such places and their methods of 'cover up'! I only ever knew physical brutality, but knew of the sexual abuse of other children, within QUARRIERS Homes and GRYFFE home, both west of Glasgow in the fifties and early sixties. ran away told the police but they continually covered up for these homes. So I know how you feel, really i do. I was tortured in those places! brutalized for years. I became violent and fought against the System, knowing they were corrupt and would continually Cover up all that they did. but eventually a number of them were eventually convicted and sentenced, but not enough of them. I ended up spending 21 years in English prisons those hell holes had made me a violent person. but never give up Chris there is always ways and means of exposing these people nowadays! It is not uncommon for many , who have suffered abuse and brutality within this so called society, do take their own lives. live for your dear brother's memory. any help or advice you need, just ask and i , if humanly possible, will give. I am well versed in fighting those in Authority.

  3. karen i feel for you.. i was in care homes in scotland /england… and witnessed much abuse and brutality, within Quarrier's homes Bridge of Weir and Gryffe Home, Bridge of Weir…It was rife. In later years Quarrier's was exposed and sentences handed down then lessened upon appeal re., some of these abusers.. i ran away so many times to tell the police.. they always sided with the authorities.. and sent us back.. to be beaten and more or less tortured by the said authorities… whipped til i bled . the abuse against me was physical.. .i have written detailed accounts of such… too much to go into here. this all affected my future life… no one would listen.. not no one.. i ended up in prison for decades.. much of my behavior was brought about by the treatment meted out within these care homes.. yes, believe me , i know where your coming from..john b, macphee

  4. I was in care. And was put in a home were tha were a lot older then me.i was put under sexual stuff I should never off nown about.i done jail.as it was like a home to me.and new nothing better.i am forty six.and feel so much.about my time in care.and can not get over it.i have been interview ed.in jail over staff.i knew well.and got a long time.nine years.luckely anove.i wasnt a fictum of them.just the older kids .and the staff theat sent me to older teenagers. I live every day.and wont nothing from it.but wont know why.

  5. The Elms Childrens Home Arbroath Scotland a lot of abuse went on in this home
    One of the staff members Alan Webster used to throw his weight around bullying the kids in the home
    Most children that complained to social workers nothing was done about it.
    Sexual abuse happened as well by another member of staff
    Money was stolen out of Children’s letters
    Alan Webster nearly killed a young boy when he tied a teen boys hands behind his back folding his legs up so that the School tie tied the hands and feet to his neck where the young teen boy almost choked to death.
    Another child was smacked with a slipper for wetting the bed

    Perhaps one day this place will become the topic of conversation in the media and justice will be served on all those that harmed and abused the children.

  6. Hi John, I remember you well from the hell hole that was Gryffe. We were of similar age and often got bathed together when we were younger. I have been trying for years to access my files, find my siblings as we were all split up and given no contact. The regime was brutal,beatings, sleep, food deprivation, cold baths, being made to run in old rugby boots so the skin would come off your heels and bleed, being kept off school until the bruises healed. The effects of such cruelty have had a significant impact on my life. I have wanted to make a formal report to the police but they are asking for first names and of course we only ever referred to them as Sir or Mr. It would be great to catch up with you again. I realise these posts are some years old but if you get this I would really like to have a chat. I have changed my name by dead poll now but was Neil Turbine back then

  7. Hi there Neil Anderson ( Turbine) .
    I was there I the 50/60s hated it .
    With the Naylors, Mcphees,your name I can remember vaguely.
    They were dark days hope you and yours are all well.



  9. I was in griffe home in the 70s as was my brother my William Archer yes wee were beating by the scum that were paid to look after us they took everything wee had every morning you would get slapped across the face for nothing wee sent to school like tramps holes in you shoes hole in your trousers the place was a joke full of bullies worst days of my life

  10. Hi John, sorry I am just seeing your message. I remember you well with your brother Sammy. I have now given evidence to the Scottish Abuse Enquiry and the Confidential Forum. Have any of you in Gryffe had access to your records? I have been told there are none, that they have been lost in a flood, lost in a fire and there is no evidential proof that I was in care?? I also went to the police about Gilmour. Having already been imprisoned for two years for sexual abuse there were 16 of us making complaints against him . He died so now there will be no justice. I recently found my sister Rosemary in a care home with dementia, she did not know me. I have traced my sister Sadie to Ireland but not yet met up with her. My sisters Betty and Catherine are dead so that is too late. I have not been able to find my brother Richard. Last week I went to visit my brother Bernard who was with us in Gryffe. He too has dementia. I am retired now but was a child protection social worker so poacher turned gamekeeper. The horrors of Gryffe still haunt me. I am on Facebook if you want to catch up. I would really like that.

  11. I was in gryffe bridge of weir children’s home 1985/86 , my brother and I were sexually and physically abused, one of my abusers who was
    A staff member in gryffe then went on to foster my brother and I at his home where abuse continued also by another member of his family ,,, until other children came forward to acuse him of abuse and instead of facing consequences, he committed suicide in 87 , worse thing is I begged and told social work home staff about it and they shunned me as I was just a damaged child on who no one wanted or cared about, one occasion I was told I was just being silly ,, I’m really interested to find other people who were in at this time, I vaguely remember incidents involving a older girl called caroline , cuple of these incidents are on record I think , tho nuthin was dun

  12. Was in gryffe 1986 my brother and I wer subjected to sexual abuse by staff as well as other children ,my brother is now severely damaged ho I have no contact with ,and who’s is a sexual risk around children!!!@ a staff member in particular was also a foster parent in Erskine wer I went to after gryffe and was subjected again to his evil as well as abuse from his underage son , he later killed himself wen other allegations came to light and he was suspended from gryffe and put under investigation 1day later he gassed himself in his car,, his son was never charged or questioned as he wa a miner , keen to track other residents if time hope this makes sense to sumone be good to hear

  13. I was in gryffe childrens home in 1985/86 my brother and I wer subjected to sexual abuse by staff as well as other children ,my brother is now severely damaged ho I have no contact with ,and who’s is a sexual risk around children!!!@ a staff member in particular was also a foster parent in Erskine wer I went to after gryffe and was subjected again to his evil as well as abuse from his underage son , he later killed himself wen other allegations came to light and he was suspended from gryffe and put under investigation 1day later he gassed himself in his car,, his son was never charged or questioned as he wa a miner , keen to track other residents if time hope this makes sense to sumone be good to hear

  14. Hi Neil. Gilmour was a cunt. Fat Herbet another. Somethings never leave you. It’s as if we never existed. Glad you found some of your family. Last saw my brother Samuel 1967. I am still in touch with Billy Naylor in fact live about 5 mile away. Tried looking for you on Facebook no luck. Take care

  15. Hi John I am on facebook under my new name (changed by depol) Neil Anderson you should see a photo of me in my scottish army uniform, I served with your brother Sammy in the Royal Highland Fusiliers in the early 70s, I am now retired had a number of jobs since the army my last was as a child protection social worker having previously worked in the private sector in child care before going to university to qualify as a social worker. John how are you doing I hope life has been good to you post your childhood with the sad experiences you and I and others have had to live with. I liove in South Wales married to a wonderful welsh girl who was also a social worker whom I met on the job, give em a call my number is 01495-718733 I have a call guardian system in place as my wife is now disabled just listen to the instructions follow these and I will get your call, by for now Regards Neil

  16. Hi my name is Peter hopper, I was in gryffe from 1967 until 1971.with my younger brother, I remember twins dougie and Charlie nelson, dale witcher , I think the staff were mr Robertson with a wooden leg, also mr Rayburn ,bald headed horrible man, mr malloch I think was the governor then, my memories are of brutality and god knows what else,I returned to the hell hole when I was 30 to see if any of the staff were still there but they were gone, shame on them.

  17. Neil I was in Gryffe from 79 to 85 and suffered at the hands of many a sadistic houseparent & also had to deal with a pedo Geoff bamber who died in police custody around 2006 2007 gave my evidence to police & inquiry at first was not believed but then in 2017 suddenly I was believed…

  18. John I found my records through Mitchell library in Glasgow reading what social workers & staff wrote about me was somewhat hard to take..liars all trying to cover their own backs

  19. Hi John Byrne just got into ACAL and note your reply to me dated 02/02/2020, I changed my name and am known as Neil Anderson I am on FACEBOOK my photo there is me in army uniform taken when I attended the military funeral of three of my mates, Joe and John McCaig and Dougal MaGoughey. I was one of the funeral party for my three mates, if you see this John my email address is [email protected], you can call me on my mobile 07977494844. Regards Neil

  20. i remember those names. gilmour,herbert,robertson,and malloch.iwas there from 1964 till 1966. evil people.

  21. I cannot believe that there’s no reference on the site for the Dale School in Arbroath. I was in there from 1966 to 1968, abuse was terrifying, a Mr & Mrs Ken McCalister were the ones in charge. If anyone is still alive who was there with me then can you please contact me bye email at [email protected]. I have gave a statement to the public enquiry in Edinburgh but I think that I am the only one who has reported the Dale School, 84 Brechin Road, Arbroath. Thoughts are with you all, please hang on in there as things will get better, especially if you talk about your feelings. Thomas Wilson.

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