A Sydney law firm says it has been approached by former residents of Algate House Boys’ Home in Broken Hill with allegations of child abuse.
The children’s home was opened by The Salvation Army in 1968 and closed in 1996.
North Star Law director Michelle Martin said clients had made allegations of various types of abuse but enquiries were focused on the sexual abuse of children.
Ms Martin urged anyone with information about what took place “behind closed doors” at the home to contact her firm.
“We’re looking into abuse that was perpetrated by certain officers in other Salvation Army homes and then the movement perhaps of officers or the systemic issues that meant similar abuse was perpetrated in Broken Hill,” she said.
Alleged victims encouraged to reach out
Ms Martin said details of what happened at the home could help other alleged victims.
“It often takes a very long time for people to be ready to come forward,” Ms Martin said.
She said some people hadn’t told their closest family members what had happened.
“Each personal story is a piece of the puzzle.”
Opportunity for further compensation
Ms Martin said recent changes in the law meant people who had sought help for abuse in the past could be eligible for more recognition.
“Sometimes [people] receive very small amounts that really is unjust and inadequate.”
Salvation Army commits to support
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, launched in 2013, inquired into The Salvation Army’s handling of claims regarding several of its homes across the country.
A spokesperson for The Salvation Army said in a statement the organisation was “profoundly sorry for the harm that survivors of abuse have endured”.
They said The Salvation Army was doing everything it could to ensure the abuse that happened in the past never happened again.
The Salvation Army encouraged anyone who had experienced sexual, physical, psychological or emotional abuse by a representative to apply for redress through the National Redress Scheme or The Salvation Army’s Centre for Restoration.