Violence in youth care: Abuse lasts 7.5 years on average

Lonely boy
Lonely boy. Photo: Arief Rahman Saan / Wikimedia Commons

Victims of child abuse while in youth care faced violence for an average of 7.5 years, according to a report by investigative committee Violence in Youth Care. More than half of the victims did not report the abuse, because the possibility of doing so did not exist, or because they were scared, RTL Nieuws reports. 

The committee, led by Micha de Winter, started an official investigation into psychological, physical and sexual violence in youth care in November last year. Their investigation spans from 1945 until present. The hotline set up by the committee received almost 600 reports of abuse. 

Most abuse cases took place in the 1960's and 1970's and in residential youth care facilities and foster care. Abuse often involved a combination of psychological and physical abuse, sometimes accompanied by sexual abuse. A large proportion of the victims report still having problems at work, in relationships and with social contacts. Many victims also still face physical consequences of the abuse, according to the committee.

The De Winter committee was after a previous committee investigating sexual abuse in foster care found signs of even bigger problems. 

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