Allegations of Abuse in Institutions

Salvation Army Homes - Main Index

Index 2003 (Sept-Dec)

The Timaru Herald
September 12 2003

4 complaints from Temuka home

The Salvation Army now has four written complaints regarding the treatment children received at its Bramwell Booth Children's Home at Temuka in the early 1970s.

The army's secretary for programme Major Alistair Herring yesterday confirmed that four of the five people who had approached the army, alleging physical or sexual abuse while they were at the home, have now lodged formal written complaints.

In all, the army now has 21 such complaints, 13 of which have been received in recent weeks.

While it was still too soon to know if other complaints would be forthcoming, Major Herring said it was probably fair to assume the army was now aware of the majority of the allegations.

The initial eight complainants had indicated they did not intend referring their complaints to the police.

A team of army staff including Major Herring, have already met a number of those who have alleged abuse.

"For most that is the end of the matter. It has been very fruitful. People have been able to express what has been on their hearts and minds for many years."

Asked whether he was finding such meetings difficult, he said while no one person in the organisation today was responsible for what was alleged to have happened, staff had a responsibility for the present-day Salvation Army.

"We take whatever responsibility we can for the Salvation Army of yesterday.

"No person can walk away from history entirely. Nations know that, cultures know that, and organisations know that," Major Herring said.