Expatica news

‘Too many’ abused children end up in hospital

18 February 2005

BRUSSELS – A worrying number of Belgium’s abused youngsters are being kept in hospitals, according to child protection agencies.

On Friday, SOS Enfants released six years of statistics on the problem of abused children and adolescents. They show in two-thirds of cases parents are involved in harming their own children.

Fathers are to blame in a quarter of cases, mothers are the abusers in a fifth of cases and in another fifth both parents are involved in mistreating their son or daughter.

Doctor Gerard, from SOS Enfants-ULB in Brussels, said: “It is sometimes absolutely necessary to be able, at least for some time, to take the children away from the environment where they are being mistreated.”

The problem, he said, was that there was a gross shortage of suitable institutions where abused children can be cared for.

The result is that the institutions turn away many youngsters.

“They can refuse children who don’t have the profile that they want,” he said.

Many youngsters end up in hospital for long periods, which are not well designed for them and which have poor security.

Abusing parents are able to get to their children to harm them again, warned Gerard.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news