Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 09:41
Amsterdam mayor calls for better child abuse prevention
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan feels that quick action is necessary to tackle child abuse. Van der Laan, chairman of the national Task Force on child- and sexual abuse, is calling on his fellow mayors to do more. The Week of Child Safety (Week van Kinderen Veilig) started on Monday, which asks the Netherlands to focus on the fight against child abuse. Events show the necessity of this. Last week a 10 year old boy was stabbed to death in Amsterdam, presumably by his father. In October a passerby found a new born baby in a dumpster. Every year about 119 thousand children are abused. This includes physical abuse, but also emotional and physical neglect and sexual abuse. Many children also witness domestic violence between parents. "On average each classroom counts one victim." Van der Laan writes in his column in Metro. "That is more children than the number of visitors that the stadiums ArenA and De Kuip can accommodate together." "Children must be able to rely on their mayors as a last resort." Van der Laan writes. Victims must be able to find a safe place in the town hall. "This lowers the barriers to talk." He wants the city hall porters trained on how to at if a child comes to them to report abuse. Van der Laan also wants mayors to call upon their citizens to take action if they suspect abuse. In that way mayors can supplement the work of the aldermen Youth Care. 80 municipalities already support the approach of the Amsterdam Mayor.