Faith-based care abuse survivors to give evidence
At least 25 survivors of abuse in the care of the New Zealand Catholic Church, Anglican Church and Salvation Army will give evidence before the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry from 30 November for two weeks.
Each will detail their experience of seeking redress (such as compensation, counselling, an apology etc) for abuse and/or neglect in the care of a faith-based institution, or in some cases, multiple.
In March next year representatives from each of the institutions will have the opportunity to present evidence and respond to what the survivors’ have to say.
The Faith-based Redress hearing will happen in two phases:
1) 30 Nov – 11 Dec 2020: Faith-based Redress hearing Phase 1: Survivor witnesses
Survivors who have sought redress for abuse suffered in the care of faith-based institutions will give evidence at this hearing. See witness list below and linked here.
2) TBC March – TBC April 2021: Faith-based Redress hearing Phase 2: Faith-based institution witnesses
Witnesses called on behalf of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and the Salvation Army New Zealand will give evidence at this hearing.
This public hearing is open to the public and will be livestreamed on our website.
MEDIA: To attend a Royal Commission public hearing, you must adhere to our Media Guidelines which include applying to attend/report before a public hearing – For this hearing you must apply to report by COB 27 Nov using the form in the Media Guidelines.
Public hearing take place at Level 2, 414 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket, Auckland 1023 (entrance via Kingdon st).
Media enquiries: 027 298 2094; firstname.lastname@example.org
Timetable and summaries of witness evidence for Faith-based redress hearing – Phase 1
The following information is subject to change
30 November 2020
Frances will give evidence about the sexual and emotional abuse she experienced in the early 1970s when she was a primary school student. The abuser was a Marist Brother who taught at the nearby Marist Brothers intermediate school in Ponsonby, Auckland. As a survivor of Pacific descent, Frances will address the cultural and other barriers she experienced in disclosing the abuse, and how the abuse has affected her. She will discuss the Catholic Church’s redress process, which has involved earlier communications with the Marist Brothers, and more recent contact with the Church’s National Office for Professional Standards and the Marist Brothers. She will present her views about how the Catholic Church might prevent abuse including recommendations from the Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry about reforming the Catholic Church’s canon law.
Tina Cleary (on behalf of Patrick Cleary)
Patrick’s evidence will be read by his daughter Tina, as Patrick passed away earlier this year. His evidence describes the abuse he suffered over four years at the Catholic secondary school, St Patrick’s in Silverstream. In a statement titled ‘Shame’, Patrick explains why it took him so long to share his story. His evidence describes the difficulties he faced when attempting to complain to the Police, and to the Catholic Order the Society of Mary.
Mr G’s evidence outlines the abuse he experienced at Marist Brothers’ School in Whanganui. In late 2019, Mr G made a complaint to the National Office for Professional Standards after seeing an Otago Daily Times article which named his abuser as a serial offender who had been the subject of multiple complaints to the Marist Brothers. Mr G’s complaint to the National Office for Professional Standards has not yet been resolved, but his desired outcomes are a written apology, an acknowledgement of the issue of abuse within the Catholic Church, and an ex-gratia payment.
1 December 2020
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.
2 December 2020
Ann-Marie’s evidence describes her experience of abuse while in the care of several faith-based institutions. Ann-Marie describes the great impact the abuse has had on her life, and the obstacles and challenges she has experienced while seeking redress. Ann-Marie sought redress both through engaging with the Abuse Protocol Committee of the Archdiocese of Wellington, and through laying a complaint with the Police. Her Police complaint eventually resulted in a conviction and Ann-Marie talks about the court process, what happened at the hearings and how members of the Church were involved.
11:45am via AVL
Mary will give evidence about the process of obtaining redress for abuse she suffered at St Patrick’s Cathedral School and St Dominic’s Catholic College in Auckland. Mary sought legal representation from Cooper Legal to engage in the redress process. Mary’s evidence will describe the re-traumatisation she experienced through the National Office for Professional Standards’ approach to resolving the complaint. Mary received an ex-gratia payment and an apology from the Sisters of Mercy for the abuse suffered at St Patrick’s Cathedral School, but the Dominican Sisters did not uphold her complaint of abuse at St Dominic’s Catholic College.
3 December 2020
2:15pm via AVL
Marc will give evidence about the abuse he suffered in St Edmund’s Intermediate School and St Paul’s High School, Dunedin, by two Christian Brothers, a priest and a lay teacher. The abuse he suffered was by people who knew of his vulnerability due to his family situation where his brother, father and grandfather passed away within a three-year period. Marc will describe the difficulty of obtaining redress from the Professional Standards Office in Australia, including compensation he received, and the lack of ongoing support provided. Marc has also approached the National Office for Professional Standards in New Zealand and the investigation is ongoing.
4 December 2020
John will give evidence about the abuse he experienced during the two years he was at a Catholic intermediate school in the early 1980s, run by the Marist Brothers, and his experiences in trying to get redress from the Catholic Church. The abuser, who sexually groomed then raped John, was Principal of the school. John will outline the effects of the abuse on his opportunities for education and employment, his relationships, and his mental health. He will describe how he has sought redress using the processes provided by the Catholic Church and the frustrations he has experienced. John questions the Marist Brothers’ understanding of how re-traumatising it has been for him to go through the Church’s redress process. He will address the need for better support from the Church and an independent redress process.
7 December 2020
Ms E will talk about abuse suffered as a parishioner of the Nativity Anglican Church in Blenheim in the 2000’s, by the parish priest. Ms E will give evidence of trying to obtain redress through the Anglican Church, Police, civil proceedings, Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Review Tribunal.
Mr Harding discusses the abuse suffered while attending Dilworth School in the 1970’s by staff at the School. Mr Harding will also discuss failed redress approaches to the Police in the 1990’s and interactions with the Dilworth Trust Board as well as future recommendations to the School and Anglican Church.
Mr Goodwin will discuss the environment at Christ’s College, including the abuse he suffered by senior students and the difficulty seeking redress after being educated within a “don’t tell” culture, as well as the subsequent impact of these experiences.
8 December 2020
Ms M discusses her home life and circumstances that led to being placed in the care of Anglican Social Services, and the abuse suffered in various home placements, which were made by Anglican Social Services and the State. Ms M will also describe her experiences of going through court proceedings in relation to the abuse, of redress through the Police and through the relevant Church, ACC and the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service. Ms M will also discuss the impact these experiences have had on her.
Mr Oakly will give evidence about the abuse he suffered by an Archdeacon while he was a Scout Commissioner, and Archdeacon for the Brightwater Church of the Nelson Anglican Diocese, as well as the impact of the abuse. Mr Oakly will also describe his attempts to obtain recognition, an apology and compensation from the Anglican Church for the sexual abuse suffered.
Ms C will give evidence of the abuse of a Vicar within a Church and Youth Group setting. Ms C will also explain the Church grievance process and mediation she went through to ensure that the Vicar was not able to reoffend again. Ms C also discusses her experience of approaching the Police regarding the abuse.
9 December 2020
Ms Deans will give evidence about abuse experience while training to become an ordained Minister in the Anglican Church and the attempts to obtain redress. Ms Deans is the author of the book Whistle Blower: Abuse of Power in the Church – a New Zealand Story.
Ms D gives evidence of her treatment (and the treatment of her children) within St Mary’s Home for unwed mothers, including the forced adoption of two of her children. She also talks about her attempts for redress and the personal impact of both her treatment within the Anglican home and the subsequent interactions with the Church.
10 December 2020
The Salvation Army opening statement
Mr A (via AVL)
Mr A was placed in care at the Salvation Army’s Bramwell Booth Home in Temuka in the 1980’s. Mr A gives evidence of approaching Cooper Legal and taking a claim against the Salvation Army to obtain redress.
Ms Lowe will give evidence of her time at Hillsbrook Children’s Home, the Salvation Army’s Whatman Children’s Home and foster care. She will outline the impact of the abuse suffered in these placements, and the effort made on behalf of herself and others to obtain redress from The Salvation Army. Ms Lowe also makes recommendations for changes to the redress process.
Mr Timpson identifies as Moriori. Mr Timpson gives evidence of his experiences of abuse within the Salvation Army’s Bramwell Booth Home in Temuka where he was placed for 11 years from 1971 onwards. Mr Timpson will also discuss the significant impact this has had on his life, and his experience going through the Salvation Army redress process in the 2000’s.
11 December 2020
Ms White gives evidence of her experience at the Salvation Army homes The Nest and The Grange, and the abuse and neglect she suffered during this time. She will also outline the redress process she undertook with the Salvation Army in the 2000’s.
Mr Takiaho identifies as Maori. Mr Takiaho will give evidence of his experiences in Owairaka Boys Home and Hodderville, as well as foster care homes. He will also talk about the redress process he went through with the Salvation Army and the significant impact that both the care settings and the redress process had on him.
An abridged version of the evidence of Ms B will be read by Claire Mullord. Ms B’s evidence includes evidence of her experience in care of The Salvation Army at The Grange in the 1950’s and the long-lasting impact of her abuse in care. Ms B will also give evidence of her redress process and recommendations for change.