The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry Faith-based Redress hearing continues today in Auckland.
Commissioners will hear from three witnesses. Witness evidence summaries are outlined below.
The hearing is being live-streamed here.
Hearing location: Level 2, 414 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, Auckland 1023.
Mr F will give evidence about the abuse he experienced in his first year at St Patrick’s College, Silverstream in 1953. The abuse, by the Rector, who was a member of the Catholic Society of Mary, led Mr F to abandon school at the age of 14. Mr F’s evidence will set out how he has engaged with the Church, not only to address the effects of the abuse on his life, but his concern that the Catholic Church is still not dealing effectively with the issue of sexual abuse. Mr F considers that children are still at risk of being abused in Church institutions. He will address the need for the Catholic Church to do more to prevent abuse and help survivors.
Anne will give evidence about the abuse she experienced while at the Star of the Sea orphanage, run by the Sisters of Mercy, and the sexual abuse by a Catholic priest who befriended her mother. Anne will outline the major impact this abuse continues to have on her physical and mental health. She describes her attempts to disclose the sexual abuse to members of the Church, leading to her formal complaint. She will outline her experience of seeking redress from the Dominican Order and how other members of her family were involved in this process. Anne continues to engage directly with the Catholic Church and survivors of abuse. Her evidence concludes by setting out her requests for the Church to better address the impacts her abuser has had on other individuals and communities. Anne describes her concern that the Church needs to do more to put survivors first instead of protecting its priests and reputation.
Gloria gives evidence on the Catholic Church’s redress process both as a survivor of abuse and as someone who has worked on one of the Church’s Abuse Protocol Committees. Her statement describes the abuse she suffered while attending primary school at St Mary’s, Northcote, and the vast impact that this abuse has had on her life. Gloria talks about her experiences working for the Church, including in her volunteer role as a Survivor Advocate for the first Protocol Committee of the Auckland Diocese. She draws on her experiences and her work with other survivors to outline and explain the obstacles that exist for those who seek redress.
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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. It will also consider experiences of abuse or neglect before outside these dates. After completing its investigations, it will make recommendations to the Governor General on how New Zealand can better care for children, young people and vulnerable adults.