Linda Johnson

Why didn’t children at Kurn Hattin tell someone who might have been able to help?

A few weeks ago, we learned the truth about the child abuse that took place at Kurn Hattin over the past 80 years. I want to applaud VTDigger's thorough and unflinching investigative reporting on this matter. Kurn Hattin, no doubt, was a haven for some children, but for others, it was hell on earth and impossible to escape.

One might ask: Why didn't those children tell someone who might have been able to help them? The report by VTDigger answered that question plainly, as described by the victims, now adults. They feared losing what little security they had - the security of food and a place to sleep.

How vulnerable were these children? They were utterly vulnerable and could neither imagine going back to their families nor what would happen to them if they dared to tell, especially if they were not believed.

As with most victims of child abuse, telling was simply not an option for those who are developmentally trapped. Due to being young, threatened, dependent on their offender, afraid they would not be believed, and afraid of being stigmatized and/or blamed, they simply are not able to tell.

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