Committee shocked by abuse of children in care
The Samson committee is shocked by the nature, duration and frequency of cases of sexual abuse of children in care. The committee bases its findings on an analysis of 500 reports it has received of the sexual abuse of children put into care since 1945. At a press conference in The Hague on Wednesday, chairperson of the committee Rieke Samson, presented the committee's preliminary findings. She spoke of "very serious cases of sexual abuse which took place over a number of years". The abusers were mainly foster parents and care home staff. There is also a degree of abuse among the children themselves. In eight out of ten cases, serious rape took place. In almost all cases the abusers were men.
"It is very difficult for the children to report abuse. They are already traumatised by being removed from the home and in the 1980s in particular they were not believed when they reported abuse," says Ms Samson. In two thirds of cases nothing was done, is the conclusion of the preliminary report. The definitive report of the Samson committee will be published in July 2012.
The victims say they are not looking for compensation accroding to Ms Samsom. "They just want to be able to tell their story, they want recognition for what was done to them and hope it won't happen to other children."
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