Child care home abuse denial ‘should be made a crime’

The Evening Express

January 10, 2018

Denying the “orchestrated” abuse which took place in child care homes across Scotland should be a crime, an inquiry has heard.

A former resident of Smyllum Park in Lanark made the claim before the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

He described his time at the orphanage as a “Holocaust of developmental trauma” and said Scotland has to “face up” to its past.

The witness, who lived in the Catholic-run home between 1961 and 1965, said his head had been left “spinning” after reading an article suggesting abuse claims about such places were exaggerated.

He added: “What was happening there was a crime against humanity. It was orchestrated.

“It went on for years. I think it was a Holocaust of developmental trauma, inflicted upon thousands of children over decades.

“In Germany it’s a crime to deny the Holocaust and I would like it to be a crime for academics to deny these years and years of abuse.

“Scotland has to face up to this – if you don’t know your own country’s history, you don’t know anything.”

Now in his sixties, he said he still has a recurring nightmare about his time there and wakes up screaming.

According to him, the nuns were “quick to aggression” and “quick to anger”, describing constant physical and mental abuse.

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