Survivors claiming childhood abuse from adults hired to care for them now push for justice
MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina orphanage is now at the center of four lawsuits claiming adults hired to care for children decades ago sexually abused them.
The survivors are now coming forward.
Channel 9′s Allison Latos has covered the push for justice for survivors for years now. She found out when state lawmakers signed the Safe Child Act in 2019. Part of the law allowed adults who were abused when they were children a chance to fight back in civil court.
A man told Latos that he’s still haunted by what happened 50 years ago and is now hoping for closure.
“My mother passed away and somehow we ended up at The Children’s Home because my dad couldn’t take care of us,” a survivor said.
Because of what the man said happened to him at The Children’s Home in the late 1960s, he asked to not be identified.
The orphanage, overseen by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, is where he said his innocence was stolen by the husband and wife hired to care for the children in his cottage.
“The word monster comes to mind,” the survivor said. “He would grab me by the back of my neck. He would close the doors and get out lotions.”
He said the abuse went on for years, but that he was too afraid to speak up and instead buried the pain, struggling through adulthood.
“I had to survive. I hit the street. Addictions, petty crimes,” he said. “I never told anyone. You did what you were told and you didn’t ask any questions.”