Salvation Army (Australia) worker physically and sexually abused boy of 11, inquiry told

A Salvation Army worker threatened a boy with a knife and broke his nose during four years of almost constant physical and sexual abuse at a boys’ home in Melbourne, an inquiry has heard.

Ross Rogers was just 11 when he was sent to the Box Hill home in 1965 and has detailed the horrific treatment he received at the hands of Willem Willemsen, which started within months of his arrival.

The odd-job man and medical officer took every opportunity he could to abuse the boy, often putting a hand over his mouth to stop him screaming.

“On more than one occasion he held a knife to my throat to threaten me,” Rogers told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Adelaide on Thursday.

On another occasion Willemsen became aggressive and hit Rogers with a plank of wood, breaking his nose.

Willemsen repeatedly warned the boy against revealing what was happening.

Read more