A man aged in his 80s who was abused for 10 years at a Salvation Army home still suffers nightmares, a royal commission has been told.
A man who spent 10 years in a Salvation Army-run boys home wanted the army to pay him one million dollars for every year he suffered abuse.
Ralph Doughty, who was in the Gill Memorial Home for Boys in Goulburn, NSW, from 1940, when he was seven, to 1950, said he calculated the amount based on cases overseas.
“I will guarantee that not one judge … would be prepared to accept a million dollars a year to have a penis shoved in your mouth,” said Mr Doughty, who is now aged in his 80s.
Mr Doughty, who qualified as a barrister in the past decade, told a royal commission hearing in Sydney on Thursday he first reported the abuse in 1951.
While at Gill he was sexually, emotionally and physically abused.
He said one officer would hit naked boys on their penis with a cane.
Another officer kicked him repeatedly while he was lying on the ground trying to protect himself.
“My nose was bleeding, my lips were cut and swollen and my legs were not moving properly.”
He said officers used a cane to penetrate him and another, who had raped another boy, tried to stick his penis in his mouth.
He told the commission since his time at Gill he often felt suicidal, suffered nightmares and feared losing his family.
The commission in this hearing – the second concerning the Salvation Army – is examining what processes the army had in place to deal with abuse complaints.
Mr Doughty refused to sign a deed of release on an offer of $100,000 in 2005 and in 2007 he engaged lawyers to negotiate on his behalf.
He eventually filed personal injuries proceedings and in August 2013 reached an agreement for $350,000.
Kate Eastman SC, counsel for the Salvation Army, queried Mr Doughty’s memory of his engagement with the army process.
This hearing has heard from 10 witnesses who went through that process and all have said it was never explained and settlement offers appeared ad hoc.
Ms Eastman said the allegations were very general and documents in this case would show the process was explained.
Earlier on Thursday, Jim Luthy, who had also been at Gill Memorial Home, said he was told by the worldwide head of the Salvation Army that abuse only happened in Australia.
He said he had never asked the army for money, but received an ex-gratia payment of $50,000, and later an extra $20,000.
Mr Luthy, president of Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN), said all he wanted was “people to say sorry and mean it”.
When the Pope in 2010 apologised to Roman Catholics worldwide for abuse suffered at the hands of clergy, Mr Luthy wrote to the then head of the Salvation Army in London, General Shaw Clifton, suggesting he too make a worldwide apology.
Mr Clifton wrote to him saying that wasn’t appropriate because “abuse only happened in Australia, nowhere else”.
Mr Luthy said at the time he thought it too was “an abuse statement”.
The Salvation Army made a public apology to Australian abuse victims in Old Parliament House in 2010 and in it Mr Clifton thanked Mr Luthy for initiating the request.
The hearing resumes on Friday.
* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.