Abuse within sects

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No image availableNL Times

Abuse within sects is rare in The Netherlands, but the consequences to the people who fall victim to it, are poignant.This is clear from the study of new religious movements, commissioned by the WODC, the Research and Information Centre.

Researchers estimate there are probably several hundred movements active in the Netherlands. They found 84 movements of which people have reported abuses. 46 out of those 84 concerned serious issues such as sexual offenses, assault, threats and in some cases murder and kidnapping.

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In 76 of the 84 movements there was psychological abuse People reported they were not allowed to have an opinion or a private life, or they were required to take expensive courses.

The late last year initiated hotline, Sektesignaal, clearly provides in a need at present, concludes the Minister of Security and Justice, based on the study.

Between December 1, 2012 and September 1, 2013, more than 100 people called the hotline. Many reports concerned financial abuses and social isolation.