Allegations of Abuse in Institutions

Salvation Army Homes - Main Index

Index 2003 (Sept-Dec)

One News
November 12 2003

Salvation Army letters cause upset

The Salvation Army is being accused of trying to avoid financial liability over claims of abuse in its children's homes.

It is investigating allegations of bad treatment in its institutions, but its lawyers are now writing to alleged victims ruling out any legal right to compensation.

One alleged victim of abuse, Fay Chase, says she is still in shock about the letter she received.

Chase says she suffered physical abuse as a nine-year-old in a Salvation Army home, one of dozens of allegations the organisation is investigating.

Now the Salvation Army's insurance lawyers say even if the claims are proven they "will have a legal defence and any legal proceedings for damages...would now be out of time".

They say that time limit expired around 1980, but the alleged victims argue they didn't know in 1980 that they were able to do anything.

ONE News has spoken to a lawyer representing another alleged victim who says the law firm, McElroys, has a reputation as being the toughest in the business and hiring them "is a call to war".

The Salvation Army won't be interviewed but says "it is still happy to be in dialogue with any complainant about the humanitarian aspects of their situation".

Salvation Army Investigation Monitor Roger McClay says the Salvation Army is not ruling out compensation