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Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry finds children were victim of “physical, emotional and sexual abuse”

THE SCOTTISH Child Abuse Inquiry published its findings yesterday and concluded that children suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

The inquiry was into into residential institutions run by Quarriers, Aberlour Child Care Trust, and Barnardo’s (QAB) between 1921 and 1991. 

During the case study, the Inquiry considered evidence about the nature and extent of any abuse of children in care at institutions run by the QAB providers at various locations across Scotland.

The Inquiry also examined any systems, policies and procedures in place at these institutions, and how these were applied.

Lady Smith, Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, said: “Children were physically abused, emotionally abused, and sexually abused in harsh, rigid regimes.

Lady Smith Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry [photo credit: Nick Mailer]

“Many children did not find the warmth, care, and compassionate comfort they needed. Scant regard was paid to their dignity.

“The previous lives of the children who came into the care of the QAB providers had all been blighted in some way, whether by being abused in the family home, the death of one or more parent, parental illness, families who could not cope with caring for them, abandonment, or by other similar circumstances.

“The QAB providers could have made a real and positive difference to every child, but that did not happen. For many, further damage was inflicted upon them.”

The 43 day case study took place between 23 October 2018 and 12 February 2019, during which time the Inquiry heard evidence from  110  witnesses.

Lady Smith added: “The QAB providers now recognise and accept that there was widespread abuse of children in their establishments. They have all apologised for it.

“A particularly frank and clear apology was offered on behalf of Quarriers by their current Chief Executive. Counsel for Barnardo’s and for Aberlour indicated that those providers, having heard evidence in this case study, also tendered their apologies.”

Lady Smith will take these findings into account when she analyses all the evidence gathered by the Inquiry and decides what recommendations to make within the final report.

Applicants and other witnesses continue to come forward to the Inquiry with relevant evidence about the care provided by QAB which will also be considered in the continuing process.

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