Jersey abuse victims 'forced to have abortions'

Haut de la Garenne care home
Image caption Haut de la Garenne eventually closed in 1986

Young girls were forced to have abortions after being made pregnant by members of staff at a children's home, an abuse inquiry has heard.

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is hearing statements and evidence of life at the Haut de la Garenne home.

A witness who was in care at the home said abortions were carried out.

He said it happened several times and claimed they were performed by a nurse when girls became pregnant after being raped by members of staff.

The statement also said the sexual assaults on children by staff were so common, youngsters did not see anything wrong in what was happening at the time.

When he spoke to a member of staff about it, he was told nothing could be done. The member of staff feared getting sacked or even assaulted if he spoke up.

No witnesses appeared on Tuesday but statements given to the police or the historic abuse redress scheme were read out by counsel to the inquiry.

One witness, who cannot be named, said her time at the home "ruined her life".

It was alleged boys and girls were sexually assaulted on a regular basis at the home in the 1960s.

Cold baths

The inquiry also heard about deaths. Several witnesses talked about children taking their own lives.

In one case, it was alleged a boy took his own life soon after spending weeks locked away in solitary confinement in what were called detention rooms.

Others described cellars where physical assaults took place with children forced into cold baths.

The inquiry continues.

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