Ruth Hopkins: Sexual abuse a legacy of Indian boarding school

Ruth Hopkins discusses sexual abuse at Indian boarding schools:
Life at boarding school was punishing of its own accord. Children were not allowed to return home to visit their families for years at a time. Conditions were harsh. During particularly cold winters, some children froze to death in their beds. Days were long, and usually consisted of difficult, and occasionally dangerous, industrial work.

Despite all of those horrors, none of them compares to the shocking level of inhumane physical brutality, sexual abuse and child rape that took place at boarding schools. Child molestation was rampant.

Brave elders have come forward to share their heart wrenching tales of abuse and assault at the hands of priests, nuns, and other staff at boarding schools. As a parent, it’s difficult to listen to stories of how innocent preschool age girls were digitally penetrated by perverted priests and little boys were forced to perform oral sex on nuns in the middle of the night under pain of death. Sexual abuse was frequent and continuous, utter torture. Most of us will never know the trauma our grandmothers and grandfathers were made to endure at boarding schools.

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Ruth Hopkins: Sexual Trauma: One Legacy of the Boarding School Era (Indian Country Today 3/30)

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