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Historic abuse in Scottish children's homes.

A letter to the Scottish Herald from Councillor Ron Aitken, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on social services, London Borough of Haringey, 11/08/2004.

AS a native of Glasgow now living in London I have been following the debate in your pages about historic abuse in Scottish children's homes in the 60s. It is a sad fact that many of the victims of historic abuse in Scottish children's homes have fled south, or even abroad, as a result of the despicable treatment they suffered; many are also in the prison or mental health system or have succumbed to suicide or drug abuse. The strong or lucky ones may even have been able to build lives elsewhere, although their pain will always remain with them until Scottish society acknowledges the awful nature of what happened to them and seeks to put in place comprehensive measures to address the long-term consequences and prevent a repeat.

While the measures put in place by Quarriers are welcome, they do not go far enough. There is also the issue of perpetrators who worked in Scottish institutions who moved around the UK or have gone abroad and abused children there. The Scottish Parliament should hold a full inquiry into an unattractive part of our history. It would be shameful if such an opportunity was missed because political cages might be rattled in the process.

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