The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry State Residential homes public hearing starts today in Auckland.
Commissioners will hear from two witnesses. Witness evidence summaries are outlined below.
The hearing is being live-streamed here.
The hearing is open to media. Only opening and closing statements can be filmed but witness footage is available.
Hearing location: Level 2, 414 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, Auckland 1023.
Opening statements (can be filmed by external cameras)
Mr X is a a 61 year old Samoan who experienced sexual, physical and psychological abuse in care. He suffered physical and sexual abuse from family members and was placed in care as a result of running away from home to escape this. He was placed in Ōwairaka, Hokio, Kohitere and Invercargill Borstal and experienced abuse in all these settings, including extensive periods locked in solitary confinement. Mr X places particular emphasis on the racial discrimination he suffered in these settings because of his Pacific heritage, as well as the lack of education despite being a high achieving student. He will explain the long term impacts of the abuse, which include the loss of his cultural identity, a loss of the Samoan language, and a lack of belonging in early adulthood.
Mr Jarvis is of Māori and Pākeha descent. He will give evidence of suffering severe physical abuse in adopted care, and abuse in State care from the age of 7, including at various Family Homes, sexual abuse in Cherry Farm where he was placed with adults at the age of 9, extensive sexual and violent abuse at Hokio Beach School from the age of 9, and at Holdsworth Boys’ Home from the age of 10. He was deprived of any meaningful education. He will describe the ongoing effects of abuse in care on his life, including the lack of career opportunities, mental health issues and using alcohol as a coping strategy.
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About the Abuse in Care Inquiry
The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is investigating the abuse and neglect that happened to children, young people and vulnerable adults in care from 1950 and 1999.