Dutch inquiry finds 'shocking' sex abuse of foster children

22nd June 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Dutch commission said Wednesday it was "shocked" to discover the scale of sexual abuse of children placed in centres and foster homes in the Netherlands.

"The Samson commission... is shocked by the nature, duration and frequency of sexual abuse cases which have been reported," the commission said in a statement, noting that it analysed some 500 cases.

"More than 65 percent of the reports indicated that the abuse took place for a period of at least one year," the commission said, while in some 33 percent of cases the abuse went on from three to 10 years.

In about 15 percent of the cases the abuse was daily, it said.

The abusers included doctors, psychiatrists, foster parents or siblings, and social services workers, and in some cases minors abused other children.

In two-thirds of the cases where the victims reported the abuse, "nothing was done," the commission said.

Some 36 "current" cases have been referred to Dutch prosecutors, commission spokeswoman Margriet van Lith told AFP.

The Dutch ministries of justice and youth set up the commission to look into child sexual abuse cases from 1945 to the present. Its final report is expected in July 2012.

© 2011 AFP

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