It is a “shameful history laid bare” as your editorial ( Weekend Herald, October 3) suggests, and one many were beginning to be aware of in the 1970s, so it’s pleasing to see the Human Rights Commission and the UN calling for an inquiry.
What will be difficult to examine though, are the strong ties at the time to religious doctrine and its effects on those who governed. This righteousness placed a lot of power into the hands of those charged to run institutions. Part of the doctrine taught as acceptable behaviour was to constrain one’s emotions, women to obey men ( particularly their husbands) and, sadly, children to respect their elders, with no acknowledgement of violent parents and abusive teachers. It paved the way for harmful and degrading treatment of those who did not fit in, or showed vulnerability.
It is pleasing so many people today are now feeling safe to come out and talk about their past. Today’s climate of care, kindness and concern allows us to support those speaking out and hopefully, make smarter and compassionate changes because of them.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.