BOYS at a Sydney home run by the Salvation Army would be taken to private homes after church and sexually abused, an inquiry has been told.
Kevin Marshall, who was a resident at the Bexley Boys Home for eight years from 1966, has told the royal commission into child sexual abuse that "private soldiers" would provide a meal after services in their homes and sometimes molest the boys.
Mr Marshall said he was caned and sexually assaulted at Bexley. Sexual assaults were carried out by older boys and by officers, he said, describing a "bear pit" mentality in the boys' dormitories.
He was six when he was placed in the home by his mother. She died a year later and he was told of her death by two officers who told him to stop crying "and get on with it". There was no emotional support.
He said there were also non-Salvation Army officers who also lived at Bexley institution.
"While some were very good people, there were others who I felt targeted the boys at the home."
When he was seven he was sexually abused by a person he referred to as "uncle" who worked at the home. Mr Marshall said the man was aged between 20 and 30.
He said he never reported it to anyone because by that time he knew the system.
"You would not have been believed . . . you were a bad boy, just looking for attention."
He said to avoid being abused by older boys, he used to sleep on the floor or move around at night. AAP