Sue Martin who spent her childhood in Dr Barnardo’s homes has published a book, “No Way Home” in which she tells of the horrific experiences she endured.
“No Way Home” recounts Sue’s experiences whilst at Babies Castle , St Christopher’s St Anne’s Dr Barnardo’s homes.
Sue was three years old when she was put into care with her five siblings by her widowed mother. Sue and her siblings were separated and she was sent to Babies Castle.
Sue suffers nightmares reliving her first night at Babies Castle; “a toddler thrown into a bin of urine soaked bed sheets as punishment for crying too loudly.” Sue’s life here was, “regimented by tasks and strict discipline.” She remembers one child being forced to feed to the extent that she almost choked.
“They shoved so much food in her mouth she couldn’t take any more and it started coming out of her nose. Then of course she got even more if a hammering because she wasted the food. Her forehead was wet with sweat, she was puce and choking.”
At the age of fifteen Sue was sent to St Christopher’s. A female member of staff systematically bullied and sexually abused her for the rest of her time at this home. She recalls, “ here she shaken so hard by one member of staff that she was given whiplash damaging her nerves and causing her sensitivity to light to this day.”
Aged seven she remembers being, “pulled into a washroom and sexually abused by two of the staff and then feed through a mangle,” “They really got to me physically and I was beginning to wonder what they have done to my mind. I concentrated on that and as the hours passed and the physical pain diminished so my thoughts and reason seemed to come back albeit slowly. I lay there and thought never mind yer body- mind yer mind.”
At St Anne’s Sue suffered sexual abuse by a woman in the middle of the night, which only stopped when Sue struck her. “I was terrified, the shocked noisy gasp from me told I had indeed connected somewhere and she was hurt. Then she was gone without a sound. It took a while to stop the shakes. This resulted from a mixture of horror and pure adrenalin.”
Sue met her future husband Owen at nineteen and they were happily married for many years. The years of the abuse she suffered did however live with her. She recounts when she first told her husband of the abuse she had suffered as a child,
“The first time I spoke to Owen about any of what had happened it was our wedding night,” she said. “In the dark his hands touched me and I freaked out. I completely lost all sense of presence. All I had in that moment was being abused. “Owen was lovely. I went very quiet and he said I had to tell him what it was and I told him and he was horrified
Sue is now 75 years old and has a daughter and granddaughter.
Jordans Solicitors represent a large number of client’s who have suffered abuse by staff members in homes which were run by Dr Barnardo’s. Where a person abuses a position of trust and commits an act of assault, a claim may be possible. We would encourage anyone affected to contact us to pursue a civil claim,.
Read more at http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/author-writes-book-detailing-13-years-of-abuse-at-barnardos-homes/story-30282809-detail/story.html#cxBvceYAjB330lxc.99