We were victims of childhood abuse in our differing ways and here we'll share something of what happened to us.

Your comments and contributions are very welcome - and if you're a Survivor of childhood abuse then please, share your story with us.

And if you can, then please help us to all help each other by adding to our Links List of resources for Survivors of Abuse.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

London Court of Appeal: Diocese MUST compensate boys it abused

The Diocese of Middlesbrough has been refused the right to appeal against a court ruling that found it responsible for an £8 million compensation claim by victims of child sexual abuse.

The Court of Appeal in London rejected the diocese’s application to appeal against what is believed to be the largest award to abuse victims in English history.
The diocese was found liable in October for the claims of 158 former pupils who were abused at St William’s Community Home, in Market Weighton, near York, between 1960 and 1992.
Judges ruled that the De La Salle Christian Brothers, which staffed the home, had no legal responsibility, leaving the Catholic Child Welfare Society of the diocese liable for the compensation claim.
One of the victims, Graham Baverstock of Catterick, North Yorkshire, said he was pleased with the ruling.
“The Church has tried to evade their responsibility to the victims all along and they now need to say sorry,” he said. “We have been campaigning for years for them to apologise.”
Mr Baverstock, 52, was 14 when he first was sent to the home, which provided residential care and education for boys with emotional and behavioural problems, and spent more than a year there. He said he was systematically abused in 1973 and 1974 and subsequently attempted suicide.
Christian Brother James Carragher, now 74, who was principal at the home for more than 20 years, began serving a 14-year prison sentence in 2004 for a long list of sex crimes against students.
Attorney David Greenwood, who is representing the victims, said he hoped the Middlesbrough diocese would work to reach compensation settlements with each abuse survivor.
Following the Court of Appeal decision, the only option remaining for the diocese is to appeal directly to the Supreme Court.
“Our lawyers are considering the matter,” a diocesan spokesman said.

We found this story in the Catholic Herald



Anonymous said...

Hello Micky

I read all your articles of your blog. Very sad storys.
What can I do about give you more help?
Leaving in the grey room is now in all my three blogs in my fav blog list.
Thank you for your comment in my article about the missing mirco.

Many and lovely greetings

Anonymous said...

Lucky Eagle!

Thank you very much for your support.

Of course you are also very welcome to Comment on the posts here and to email us with any views, comments or suggestions as to how we could improve the blog.

Thanks again for your help and for spreading the word.

FreeFox said...

There are a lot of terrible tales about the sexual and emotional abuse by religious authorities and how they refuse to accept responsibility. My own home country of Germany has had its share of such revelations in the past 2 years I understand.
But I must say, reading this has more than shocked me.

If you let me quote one paragraph of the report: "[name withheld] was a lovely lad. He used to sing and we would sit around listening, he always knew all the words. He and another boy decided to run away, we were all punished, there were no films and we all went to bed early, we cursed them. They were gone for a week and eventually brought back. We were all lined up and they were battered, then 4 Brothers took them into a room, with hurling sticks and leathers, we could hear them screaming, when they came out they were unrecognisable, purple ears, totally closed up eyes, backside totally out of shape, I’ll never forget it. You heal, but it takes months and you’re never the same again after it. I never heard him singing after that."

I never heard him singing after that.

I know there is those here on this site who know exactly what that simple phrase means, how much more than mere skin and bones can break...

And then of course there is this video. Doesn't it just tear your heart when you watch it?

To quote the Irish Times: "The sheer scale and longevity of the torment inflected on defenceless children – over 800 known abusers in over 200 Catholic institutions during a period of 35 years – should alone make it clear that it was not accidental or opportunistic but systematic. Abuse was not a failure of the system. It was the system." (21 May 2009)

If crimes of this magnitude occur, it does little to point the finger at the individuals who committed them (although they deserve their punishments, more than they usually get). Instead, don't we have to ask what has happened in a society so that it was unable to stop such horrors - and what is it in our human nature that leads to such torment in the first place? (Like home children to Australia, or the Kinder der Landstraße program of the Swiss gvernment against the children of the migratory Yeniche people, or so many other instances.)

On the personal level, we each must come to terms with what has happened to us as individuals. But as a society we have to find out what those forces are that further, propagate and protect those who perpetrate the crimes.

Malcolm said...


Thank you for this amazing response. The saddest line is as you emphasise

I never heard him singing after that

Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife - Kahlil Gibran

If you destroy a child's music what does he have left? Being a musician was often the only thing that gave me a grip on life, to have lost it would have been unbearable. Cuts, bruises and broken bones heal and eventually the physical pain subsides. The injuries to the spirit are less susceptible to healing and are often hidden from public view. Torment is a silent, lonely thing.

I can only agree with you, we should and indeed must punish the individuals who commit such atrocities on children but that in itself is futile as long as children are held in such little regard by the very people charged with their protection.

Every voice that speaks out against this evil raises the volume of protest a little bit, eventually we'll be shouting so loud that nobody can ignore us.