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Sisters of Nazareth Press Release

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry Publishes Second Case Study Findings

Children were deprived of compassion, dignity, care and comfort.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has today (Thursday 30 May) published its findings into residential institutions run by the Sisters of Nazareth (SoN) between 1933 and 1984. They conclude that children did suffer abuse.

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 SoN in Scotland, with a particular focus on Nazareth Houses in Aberdeen, Cardonald, Lasswade, and Kilmarnock.

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: “The Nazareth Houses in Scotland were, for many children, places of fear, hostility and confusion, places where children were physically abused and emotionally degraded with impunity.

“There was sexual abuse of children which, in some instances, reached levels of the utmost depravity. Children in need of kind, warm, loving care and comfort did not find it. Children were deprived of compassion, dignity, care and comfort.

“It was suggested in evidence that applicants may have colluded to present fictitious accounts about their time in their care, fuelled by resentment towards their families and an appetite for compensation. I reject all such suggestions.”

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.

The 27-day case study took place from 24 April 2018 to 3 July 2019, during which time the Inquiry heard evidence from 39 witnesses about their experience in Nazareth Houses and two witnesses also spoke to the experiences of their family member.  A further 29 witness statements were read into proceedings. The Inquiry also heard audio evidence from a witness who made a recording prior to her death about being abused whilst in care at Nazareth House, Kilmarnock.

Applicants and other witnesses continue to come forward to the Inquiry with relevant evidence about the care provided by SoN and this will be considered as part of the continuing process.

The findings from the SoN case study can be read in full on the Inquiry website: www.childabuseinquiry.scot