A woman who was abused at a children’s home she was placed in by Lambeth Council has slammed the authority for excluding her from a compensation scheme for survivors.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims she was sexually abused at a Melting Pot children’s home in the early 1970s.
She was one of hundreds of children who were victims of sexual and physical abuse while staying at children’s homes across Lambeth between the 1950s and 1980s.
READ MORE: Lambeth child abuse victim wins huge six-figure sum from council
In 2018, Lambeth Council set up a compensation scheme for victims who were abused at council-ran children’s homes.
But it does not cover victims, like the woman, who were sent to privately-ran Melting Pot children’s homes by Lambeth Council and abused there.
As the January 1 cut-off date for applications to the scheme looms, the woman has said she feels abandoned by the council.
She said: “I just felt like we’re being abused all over again.
“I thought it would be open to us when the redress scheme was first announced. We need some acknowledgement.
“How can we find closure if the people responsible are not acknowledging what they’ve done to our lives? They’ve ruined our lives.
“The trauma is never going to go. Let Lambeth know that sexual abuse is not nice.”
The woman says she was raped repeatedly by staff while staying at Melting Pot’s care home for black children in Brixton in the early 1970s.
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She wasn’t sent to school and had to resort to shoplifting food, clothes and bed linen to survive during her time at the home.
The victim, who is now in her 60s, has struggled to form healthy relationships due to the abuse she suffered at the Melting Pot home as a teenager.
She struggles with her mental health and takes antidepressants.
The woman said: “It was the most horrible place I’ve ever lived in my entire life.
“We were sexually abused left, right and centre in the Melting Pot.
“I just look at it now as the Melting Pot sexual slaughterhouse for children.
“Everyday of my entire life I have to go through the pain.
“There are days where I feel like I don’t want to go on. And there are days when I feel like I don’t want to get out of bed.”
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More than 1,887 people had applied for compensation through the Lambeth Redress Scheme by July 2021.
More than £71.5 million has been paid out by Lambeth Council to abuse victims since the scheme launched in 2018.
A Lambeth Council spokesperson said: “The Lambeth Children’s Home Redress Scheme compensates those who were resident at children’s homes that were run by the council from the 1930s until the ‘80s and ‘90s. Lambeth Council makes a sincere and heartfelt apology to all victims and survivors of abuse and neglect while in Lambeth’s care.
“The Melting Pot was an independent charitable organisation providing care and support services to Black teenagers and adults. It is clear horrendous abuses were committed against young people at the Melting Pot before it closed in 1991 – these young people were incredibly badly betrayed. But the Melting Pot was not run by Lambeth Council, which is why it is outside the Lambeth Children’s Homes Redress Scheme.
Raymond Stevenson from the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, which campaigns for people who were abused at children’s homes in Lambeth, said those compensated by the scheme represented the tip of the iceberg of victims.
He said: “Some are compensated for their abuse whilst others who were sent directly to foster carers have not been compensated.
“Children homes that were designated for black children have also been excluded from the scheme.”