A CAMPAIGN to have abuse survivors who stayed at a residential school included in the Scottish Government’s redress scheme for victims of child abuse will be heard at Holyrood today.

MSPs on the Public Petitions Committee will consider the Fornethy Survivors Group's bid to be recognised as having suffered abuse and eligible for the scheme.

The Fornethy Survivors have been fighting for more than four years to be included.

In the 1970s, girls were sent to Fornethy House in Kilry, Perth and Kinross, run by the then Glasgow Corporation for convalescence.

At a conference in Glasgow earlier this year to bring the women together, they told of abuse including being force-fed, beaten, emotionally abused and sexually assaulted.

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Last month, Shona Robison, Deputy First Minister, invoked anger from the survivors when she said the women were not eligible for the scheme as they were only in the home for a short period and records had been destroyed.

She said: “For all of these reasons I do not intend to change the eligibility criteria for the scheme.

“I recognise that the outcome of the inquiries will be disappointing to those survivors who seek redress.”

The petition is still being considered and the women hope the committee will take their case further.

In a statement released ahead of the meeting, they said: “We are waiting as yet another committee meeting will take place to decide if the Fornethy women are formally recognised as child abuse survivors or if we are to be stonewalled and banned from the redress scheme.

“Abuse is abuse. It harms, it hurts and it is a life sentence for us and the other Fornethy survivors yet to come forward from the thousands of little girls that attended Fornethy Residential School over all those years.”

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They are angry the Deputy First Minister dismissed their case because they were not long term residents.

The group added: “Access to the Scottish Government’s redress scheme should not be dependent upon how we came to be there, or the length of time we stayed.

“Acceptance into the scheme tells us that we are seen, recognised and believed as abuse survivors.

“Acceptance also means that any apology by the Scottish Government on behalf of those officials that failed to protect us is meaningful and sincere. And that means so much to us.”

The statement concluded: “We deserve an end to a lifetime of trauma, silence and exclusion that we have suffered following our abuse in Fornethy Residential School when we were just little girls.”

Glasgow City Council, the successor to Glasgow Corporation, previously told the Glasgow Times: “We have never denied the council’s role in helping to find a resolution.

“We understand that this process is upsetting for everyone involved and we will continue to work with all partners.”