Source: The Huffington Post
AMSTERDAM — A commission investigating abuse of children linked to Dutch Roman Catholic institutions says girls were sexually abused by members of the clergy in their homes and in church, while they suffered physical abuse and intimidation at the hands of nuns at homes for young women.
The report follows a previous study focused on boys, which found boys were especially vulnerable to sexual abuse in boarding schools.
The commission, led by former Hague mayor Wim Deetman, was funded by the Catholic church. In preliminary conclusions in December 2011 it estimated that up to 20,000 children were molested at Catholic boarding schools between 1945 and 2010, and “several tens of thousands” faced abuse of some kind.
Monday’s follow-up study focused more on Catholic girls and young women, who in addition to boarding schools were often sent to homes for unwed mothers run by nuns if they became pregnant without being married.
“In cases of physical violence without sexual abuse, both new and previous complaints point toward primarily female perpetrators, mostly nuns who worked as educators or caregivers,” Deetman wrote in his conclusions.