'A public inquiry has found that nuns, priests and staff at two Scottish children’s homes subjected children to regimes of fear, physical and sexual abuse for many decades.
In its first interim report, published on Thursday, the Scottish child abuse inquiry (SCAI) found that boys and girls housed in two Catholic residential homes in Lanarkshire were systematically starved of love, dignity and compassion.
Lady Smith, the commission’s chair, said many children at Smyllum Park in Lanark and Bellevue House in Rutherglen, run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul (DoC), were abused by the adults charged with their care.
“For many children who were in Smyllum and Bellevue, the homes were places of fear, coercive control, threat, excessive discipline and emotional, physical and sexual abuse, where they found no love, no compassion, no dignity and no comfort,” she said.
Smith added: “For some children, being hit was a normal aspect of daily life.”
It emerged in August that at least 16 former members of staff at Smyllum Park – mostly women, including several nuns – had been arrested by Police Scotland and charged over alleged abuse. Their cases have now been referred to a specialist unit at the Crown Office, Scotland’s prosecution service.'
Read more: Children were abused for decades in Catholic homes, Scottish inquiry finds
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