In the media today it is widely reported that vulnerable girls living at a “frightening and violent” Church of England Children’s home were heavily drugged and subjected to sexual and physical abuse.
An independent review has revealed that at Kendall House in Gravesend, Kent, girls as young as 11 were regularly subjected to a cocktail of antidepressants, sedatives and antipsychotic drugs that left them in a ‘lifeless or shocked state’.
Those young girls who resisted the doses, challenged staff or overcame the effects of medication faced sanctions, including being locked in rooms for days.
Some women who lived at the home between the 1960s and 1980s said they were raped after being confined over night in an isolation room; others were placed in straight jackets.
The drugs regime was introduced by Consultant Psychiatrist, named as Marenthiran Perinpanayagam who visited the home weekly and was said to have pursued an experimental approach.
Parents of the girls who raised concerns were either ignored, refuted, ridiculed or belittled.
Within the review led by Professor Sue Proctor, she describes her findings as harrowing and added;
“They reveal an institution which had weak governance and oversight. A place where control, containment and sometime cruelty were normalised. A place where vulnerable girls, many repeatedly let down by their parents, Social Services and other agencies were caught in a regime that sought to rob them of their individuality, hope and, in some cases liberty.
Every resident was vulnerable to the risk of being emotionally, physically or sexually abused by the staff, other residents or third parties.
We are aware that there will be many former residents of the care home who will have been the victims of abuse and we recognise that for almost every girl who lived at Kendall House this was a frightening violent and unpredictable place to live”.
The home was run and financed by the Church to care for children with behavioural and emotional problems.
The Right Reverend Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham and the Church’s Head of Safeguarding said;
“On behalf of the Church I apologise unreservedly to all of the former residents whose lives were and continue to be affected by their damaging experiences at Kendall House”.
As a Solicitor specialising in claims on behalf victims of abuse I represent many victims who have suffered in a similar way to those at Kendall House.
If you were a victim affected by this type of abuse please contact me here.