Thursday, 14 July 2016

An independent report details the "harrowing" abuse young girls were forced to endure at a children's home in Kent.

Child Abuse
Every former resident said they had suffered abuse. File pic
Vulnerable girls at an "appalling" Church of England children's home were drugged and sexually and physically abused over nearly 20 years, a report has found.
An independent review of Kendall House, in Gravesend, Kent, has outlined revelations of sexual abuse, ill-treatment and physical abuse.
It found that between 1967 and 1986 girls as young as 11 were often given powerful anti-depressants, sedatives and anti-psychotic drugs without medical assessments.
Those that resisted or overcame the effect of drugs faced punishments, including being locked in a room alone for long periods and receiving emotionally abusive threats.
Others told how they were raped after being locked in an isolation room overnight.
The review said the "harrowing" findings lay bare a children's home "which had weak governance and oversight".
It added: "(It was) a place where control, containment and sometimes, cruelty were normalised.
"A place were vulnerable girls, many previously and repeatedly let down by their parents, social service and other agencies, were caught in a regime that in many ways sought to rob them of their individuality, of hope, and in some cases of their liberty."
The 137-page report also revealed how every former resident spoken to by the review team had suffered abuse, some of whom went on to attempt suicide.
David Greenwood, a solicitor who has represented 15 Kendall House survivors, said: "Many of the ladies I have represented have suffered poor quality lives as a result of this treatment.
"Many have been sexually assaulted and most were physically abused.
"It was only when the Home Office inspectors advised the church to alter the way they deal with drugs that this treatment was brought to an end."
The Church of England has apologised to former residents of Kendall House and said it will "examine carefully" the review's findings.
In a statement Bishop Paul Butler said: "The appalling standards of care and treatment should never have been allowed and on behalf of the national church I apologise unreservedly to all the former residents whose lives were and continue to be affected by their damaging experiences at Kendall House."
He added: "There are serious lessons to be learnt from this review both at diocesan and national level to ensure that this never happens again.