UK - The children of Smyllum tell their heartbreaking stories, SNAP responds

For immediate release Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Statement by Melanie Sakoda of California, Volunteer Member of SNAP’s Board of Directors (925-708-6175[email protected])

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is holding hearings on conditions in Scotland’s care homes. Survivors of Smyllum Park in Lanarkshire, where up to 400 children were buried in an unmarked grave, recently began testifying before the inquiry.

We commend the Scottish government, the Sunday Post, BBC radio, In Care Abuse Survivors, relatives of the deceased, and all those involved in the campaign to expose what happened at Smyllum Park. It is truly a shame that an order of Catholic nuns required a public campaign to get them to agree to do the right thing.

Publicly identifying each and every child who is buried on the grounds of Smyllum Park is the “very least” the Daughters of Charity, should do.  The nuns should also stop their stonewalling and their denials that abuse occurred in at Smyllum Park and make their records public. 

In the meantime, the Daughters of Charity have promised to build a memorial with the names of all the children who died. But promises are cheap. The campaign to hold the nuns accountable must not end until that promise is fulfilled. 

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is

Melanie Sakoda 925-708-6175 [email protected], Joelle Casteix 949-322-7434[email protected], or Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Executive Director (314-503-0003[email protected])

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  • John Nesbella
    commented 2017-12-05 14:33:56 -0600
    This is a failure of the civil authorities as well as the leadership of the Roman Church. For too long nuns, brothers and priests have been given a blank check-by the civil authorities- to do whatever they liked. They are not worthy of that kind of respect. They need to be held accountable and punished like the rest of us common ordinary folk. We would have been locked up and the key thrown away if we did any of these things.

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