Abuse claims stem from Temuka home

Rhonda Markby
The Timaru Herald

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Former residents of the Salvation Army's Bramwell Booth Home at Temuka allege they were both physically and sexually abused.

The army's secretary for programme, Major Alistair Herring, said four men and a woman have now alleged they were abused by staff at the home.

Although the five were still to be spoken to in depth by staff, Major Herring said it appeared the children were at the home mainly in the early 1970s.

It was too early to say whether the allegations related to the same staff members in each case.

The Salvation Army has now received 36 allegations of abuse, although the majority relate to children who were in the church's 15 homes in the 1940s and 1950s.

Most of the complaints originated from stays at the Hodderville Boys Home in the Waikato town of Putaruru, and a Salvation Army home in Masterton.

Up to 8000 children lived at the homes from 1903-1993.

The Temuka home catered for boys from 1916 to 1989, with girls also living there from January 1969. The home cared for orphans, children referred by other welfare agencies and wards of the state.

Major Herring said at this stage it was alleged a small number of staff throughout the country were responsible for the majority of the abuse.

The Child Youth and Family (CYF) department is now investigating claims that state wards were sent to the Salvation Army's homes. It was not known how many of those who were alleging abuse had been state wards, Major Herring said.

Last week the Salvation Army in Australia apologised for abuse suffered by children in its care in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Some people have received financial compensation for abuse which included cases of physical and sexual abuse.

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