Allegations of Abuse in Institutions

Salvation Army Homes - Main Index

Index 2003 (Jan-Aug)

NZ Herald
August 28 2003

Former resident wants compensation
by Ainsley Thomson

Peter Murphy says he has not a single positive memory from the 10 years he spent in a Salvation Army children's home.

The 55-year-old Hamilton man, who lived at the Whatman Children's Home in Masterton during the 1950s, said staff physically abused children for the entire time he was there.

"There was nothing good about them. They made us work, beat us and treated us like dirt. They crushed people."

Mr Murphy is one of 28 people in New Zealand who have approached the social services agency about allegations of physical and sexual abuse. He said he would like an independent inquiry into the abuse, and would like to be compensated.

The Salvation Army confirmed that Mr Murphy had made contact.

Mr Murphy claimed he entered the home as a 5-year-old in 1952.

He said that within days, he witnessed his older brother being beaten by officers and older children.

From that time Mr Murphy said he was beaten without reason.

"There was an environment of violence, fear and horror. There was always a threat in the air."

His worst memory was of being beaten around the ankles with a metal hammer. He was only 8 years old at the time.