"JERSEY'S EVENING PROPAGANDA"
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Wednesday, 7 September 2011
"Haut De La Garenne Survivor Speaks Out"
Comfort for those with shattered lives
Name and address withheld.
AS a former resident of Haut de la Garenne I am outraged by the letter from Astrid Kisch (JEP, 30 August) about the care leavers.
Mrs Kisch states that the care leavers have ‘grown up and made their lives long ago’.
Some care leavers have been lucky enough to make something of their lives but many have been so traumatised by their abuse that they have never reached their full potential.
Many have broken marriages and relationships because they find it hard to trust people. Many kept quiet about their childhood experiences for decades and in 2008 when it all came out they had to face the truth and talk to the police to try to get justice for themselves and for their fellow survivors.
Several care-leavers have been so affected by the past that they have used coping strategies like alcohol which has caused further problems in their relationships. This, coupled with anger and frustration about what they suffered, has led some into problems with the law.
There has been a knock-on effect for the children of survivors because everybody in the family has felt the shock waves of these terrible revelations. Some people have developed serious anxiety disorders and severe depression and tragically some have taken their own lives. I fear more will take this route in the future if nothing more is done.
Mrs Kisch states that the ‘alleged perpetrators’ have been convicted. If they are convicted this is not alleged. This is not true anyway. There are dozens of people who have not been convicted of or even charged with extremely serious crimes because the investigation was never completed. Some suspects were released without charge despite strong evidence. Some have escaped conviction by dying before they could be charged. Their crimes still need to be acknowledged.
Mrs Kisch states that those convicted were guilty of ‘discipline’. I think we all know that the allegations against many were far more serious than that.
Mrs Kisch states that these ‘wrongs have been righted’ at the expense of the tax-payer. She also claims that this was done out of ‘revenge’ by the survivors. These wrongs are very far from being righted as only a full independent inquiry into the whole sorry matter can even start this process.
The ‘expense’ she refers to, I assume, is the cost of the investigation. This was a small amount compared to some projects in Jersey such as the cost of the police headquarters, otherwise known as the Green Street fiasco.
Mrs Kisch asks why the tax-payers have to pay compensation to the survivors and what for. Money can never give these people back their childhood but it can provide a little comfort to people and families whose lives have been shattered beyond repair.