Apr 28, 2022

Perth Christian rehab facility apologises after allegations of psychological abuse, inappropriate treatment

Joanna Trilling and Alicia Bridges
ABC News
March 10, 2022

The Esther Foundation, a Christian-based residential rehabilitation centre in Perth, says it will cooperate with any criminal investigation after a growing number of women have spoken out about allegations of psychological abuse and inappropriate treatment at the facility.

Key points:

• Esther House has issued an apology to former residents for any "hurt" or "abuse" they might have experienced while living at the Perth rehabilitation centre

• Former residents have come forward with claims of psychological abuse and inappropriate treatment

• The centre has parted ways with the former managing director and founder

Former residents of the centre this week told the ABC that the program treated their mental health and addictions by attempting to "exorcise demons". One woman said she was not allowed to speak for two months.

The women say they did not receive any psychological or psychiatric care from a qualified medical specialist during their time at the residential centre for young women from crisis backgrounds, which claims to provide counselling for issues including addictions, sexual abuse and mental health.

Confronted with the women's allegations this week, the Esther Foundation issued an "unreserved apology".

"We stand in support of any former resident who has suffered hurt, abuse or anguish," the Esther Foundation said in a written response.

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