The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse listened to numerous accusations of abuse committed at a Sydney boy’s home. According to the accusations, scores of boys were physically and sexually abused by staff at Daruk Training School in Windsor. The facility held state wards and juvenile offenders, operating for about thirty years until 1991. Several men claim that staff preyed on dozens of boys, engaging brutal assaults, including forced circumcision (fair warning: the description is graphic):
Gordon Myers, 50, told news.com.au he was 13 when he was sent to the institution for the first time in 1978.
In his submission to the commission, Mr Myers said he was raped and bashed by various staff at the home on a regular basis over the five years he lived there.
He said a male staff member who “didn’t like little boys with foreskins” used to perform illegal and botched circumcisions on the children at Daruk.
“He cut my penis off,” Mr Myers told news.com.au.
“I had just turned 13. He took me into the clinic and said ‘we have permission to circumcise you’. I said ‘no you don’t’.
“He knocked me out with a needle and I woke up in the middle of it and there was (a second staff member there as well), I screamed in pain.
“Because I was so tiny, he probably thought, stupidly, ‘don’t give him as much anaesthetic to put him under’.”
Mr Myers said there was “blood everywhere” and that he was sent to Windsor Hospital where a surgeon “sewed (his) penis back on”.
He claims the hospital “covered up” the incident.
A medical examination conducted by a urologist found that Myers suffers from testicular microlithiasis, a condition where small clusters of calcium form in the testicles. This may explain why Myers’s genitals appear childlike. It does not explain away the mutilation accusation. Another man presented his experiences:
Carl Orme, 50, told news.com.au he was also a resident of Daruk Training school in 1978.
Mr Orme said he was routinely physically and sexually abused by several staff members at the home and that one at the school often taunted the boys and severed some of their penises.
“There was a male (staff member) there, and I will never forget his name,” Mr Orme said. “He was a very sick man.
“He’d start fondling with you and things and he would always threaten to circumcise everyone. “He used to scare you and everything, he’d get scissors out and grab hold of the old fella’ saying, ‘I’m going to cut it off if you don’t sit still, I’m going to cut your willy off’.
“His excuse was ‘it’s clean to be circumcised’.”
Two accounts does not prove this occurred, however, if these two men do not know each other and never heard the other man’s story it does make the accusation more plausible.
This would not be the first time abusive people hid behind bureaucracy to allow them to engage in their sadism unimpeded. One would expect there to be a paper trail at least proving the medical procedures occurred. Unfortunately, the facility would destroy the documents after a certain period of time, so it is unlikely anything remains. The only evidence anyone has to go on at this point is the accusers’ claims.
This reminds me of the situation that occurred in Florida and the absolute horror inflicted on those boys. Several were murdered by staff and their bodies buried around the facility. This kind of abuse seems to fall to the wayside primarily because the victims are children society does not care about. These are state wards and juvenile offenders. Few people are looking out for them. Few people take their complaints seriously, assuming any of them decide to report the abuse.
Hopefully the commission can find something to act on. With the amount of time that passed, it is possible that few charges could be brought. Even if someone could be charged, many of the abusers are probably dead. We will see how the commission progresses.