“To a child, six weeks feels like a year.”
Violet Wilson was one of many children sent to Fornethy House in Angus. She should have been safe.
She should have had a fun, enjoyable and educational stay.
Instead, her pained words show the six weeks she spent at Fornethy has left a lifelong legacy of trauma.
Tragically, Violet was far from alone.
Our exclusive investigation into the residential school demonstrates that fact all too clearly.
First-hand accounts from pupils sent to Fornethy attest to mental, physical and sexual abuse being a regular occurrence.
To any right-minded person with a concern for child welfare, the testimony provided will be both sickening and difficult to listen to.
But it is also incredibly brave and important.
The abuses of the past deserve to be confronted just as much as those which happen today.
The victims are no less deserving of justice and closure than any others.
Scottish Government must recognise Angus child abuse claims
Fornethy’s victims have been denied justice for far too long.
They have suffered silently for decades while the horrors invited upon them remained in the darkness.
Now a light has been cast, but with scores of potential victims, the whole story of Fornethy and the abuses which occurred within its walls remains to be told.
Our hope is that others will now feel empowered to come forward to tell their stories, safe in the knowledge that they will be listened to in a way so cruelly denied to them as defenceless children.
Only by getting to the whole truth can healing properly begin.
The Scottish Government also has a role to play here.
There is no justification for treating survivors of abuse differently.
It therefore has a duty to ensure the Redress scheme – a fund set up to provide financial compensation to victims of abuse in long-term residential care – is empowered to provide similar help to those whose abuse came in temporary settings, such as Fornethy.
Violet, Carol, Lynne, Elaine – and potentially scores of other children who passed through Fornethy’s doors – deserve nothing less.