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Published: 06 October 2015
Author: Ryan Carlisle Thomas

Child Abuse Royal Commission focuses on Salvation Army Homes in Victoria, SA

The Salvation Army will again be the focus of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse this fortnight, with the charity’s Victorian, South Australian and Western Australian Childrens’ Homes examined.

The public hearing will focus on the experiences of children in select Salvation Army (Southern Territory) Homes between 1940 and 1990.

The Victorian witnesses will give evidence about abuse at the Box Hill and Bayswater Boys’ Homes. Other evidence will focus on the Eden Park Boys’ Home in South Australia and the Hollywood Children’s Village in Western Australia.

As well as hearing from survivors, the response of the The Salvation Army Southern Territory to allegations of child sexual abuse will be examined, including past and current policies.

The Royal Commission has already heard evidence about abuse at homes run by the Salvation Army Eastern Territory (New South Wales and Queensland), as part of last year’s Case Studies 5 and 10. These examined survovivor experiences, the handling of compensation claims and apologies made in relation to abuse at the Gill and Bexley Homes in New South Wales and the Riverview and Alkira Salvation Army Home for Boys in Queensland.

Following the release of the Case Study 10 report, the Salvation Army Eastern Territory offered an apology to survivors.

"We are so sorry, deeply sorry, for every instance when children were sexually abused by our personnel while in our care" said Commissioner James Condon.

"Today’s Salvation Army has a no tolerance approach to any form of abuse. We, as The Salvation Army, are deeply committed to ensuring that no harm ever occurs again. We simply will not tolerate abuse of any kind," he said.

This fortnight’s hearing is open to the public at the Commonwealth Law Courts bulding in Angas Street, Adelaide. The hearing is also being streamed live via the Royal Commission's website. You can also follow developments via the RCT legal blog, and on Twitter @rctlaw.

Ryan Carlisle Thomas is Victoria’s largest law firm representing the rights of survivors of institutional abuse. We have secured compensation for dozens of people who have suffered abuse in Salvation Army homes. Read more about our Institutional Abuse practice here.

The full witness list for this fortnight’s hearing can be found here.

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