By Andrew McRae of RNZ
Warning: This story discusses graphic details of sexual violence.
A woman who was raped by a welfare home staff member and became pregnant has outlined her ordeal before the inquiry into abuse in care.
Neta Kerepeti was 13 when placed in the Bollard Girls' Home in Auckland in 1974.
The 59-year-old was first sexually abused by her father when she was about 7.
She came to the attention of the Social Welfare Department at 12 years old.
On one occasion after running away she was picked up by a police officer and raped.
Her ordeal continued in the first foster home she stayed in and then at the Bollard Girls' Home.
The first humiliation was the mandatory internal examination by a doctor checking for sexually transmitted diseases.
She was instructed to climb onto a bed without a cover sheet and put her feet into stirrups.
"Display my legs apart and be examined quite roughly by the doctor who I and other girls at Bollard came to refer to as Doctor Death."
She was raped by a staff member while cleaning his home.
She became pregnant but only found out when waking one night in extreme pain.
"I was bleeding and remember feeling a little bit scared and I was scared because I wasn't sure whether to feel embarrassed or scared because I might get into trouble for soiling my bedding."
She was put in a bath.
"Gobules of blood and tissue appeared in the bath and floating around."
A staff member put it down to her period and refused to call a doctor.
Commission lawyer Kingi Snelger read a passage from a letter written by the acting principal at the time which stated: "I mentioned then that Neta was having problems with her menstruation and it is the opinion of our doctor that she probably had a miscarriage whilst here."
For Kerepeti this was long-awaited confirmation.
"Commissioners, that is the first and only time I have seen that validated, so thank you."
She had a few final thoughts about time in state care.
"It wasn't the place and there was no system that was tailored to girls like Neta that had come from a place where whānau were valued, a place where te teo Māori was in daily use. There was no one who looked like Neta, responsible for Neta's care. The only people who looked like Neta were the other girls at the home."
"There was nothing about Bollard or it's a structure or the system built around that resembled anything that was close to me or my culture."
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