A harrowing account by one of the survivors of the Haut de la Garenne children’s home
Robbie was born in Jersey and when he was five years old his mother placed him and his siblings in care. They were collected from their home by the police. It was the same day that the children had witnessed their father's suicide attempt by hanging. The children were separated; Robbie and his younger brother were taken to The Sacre Coeur, an orphanage for children under twelve, while their elder brother was placed in Haut de la Garenne.
Robbie and his three year old brother were bewildered and frightened by their surroundings. Their world as they had known it had disintegrated in just a matter of a few hours. They had sobbed as their eldest brother was taken away from them; they had never been apart before.
Sacre Coeur, run by nuns, was a place where unimaginable abuse was committed against defenceless small children. The nuns gave them no explanation. Just gave them their scratchy uniforms and showed them their dormitory. They had joined the tribe of lost boys; the ones who no one cared about.
The two boys were eventually transferred to Haut de la Garenne, a place where sick twisted minds had devised even more tortuous methods of sexually abusing the helpless.
There were suicides there. And of course there were the children who simply disappeared. Gone somewhere better Robbie was told. After all in a children's home there was a lot of coming and going.
Today Robbie holds down a full time job and looks after his brother who he has loved and cared for since they were those little frightened boys. He wonders what happened to his friends who disappeared.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Toni Maguire lives in the UK and has lived in Ireland.
Robbie Garner was born in Jersey in the 1950s. After his father tragically comitted suicide he and his three siblings were sent to live in children’s homes. His older brother was sent to Haut de la Garenne and Robbie and his younger brother were sent to Sacre Coeur, but they were later transferred to Haut de la Garenne and were subjected to horrific abuse during their time there. When they were teenagers they finally escaped the horrors of Haut de la Garenne. Robbie’s younger brother is now classified as having learning and behavioural difficulties as a result of the abuse he was subjected to as a child. Robbie has a responsible job and is a full time carer for his younger brother.
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