Victim of sexual abuse in youth care suing Dutch State

Scales of justice and gavel on law book
Scales of justice and gavel on law bookPhoto: tomloel/DepositPhotos

A victim of violence and sexual abuse in youth care is suing the Dutch state for acting unlawfully in her request for recognition and compensation. The now 68-year-old Jeannette de Geus is also suing Youth Protection for negligence, NOS reports.

The Amsterdam woman was removed from her parents' custody when she was a toddler. When she was four years old, she was placed with a foster family in Achterhoek, where she was sexually and physically abused for years. As a teenager, she reported the abuse to her guardians, but nothing happened. Only after De Geus attempted suicide at age 14, was she removed from the foster family.

De Geus wants recognition for what happened to her, and submitted a request for this. In December 2017 the Violent Offenses Compensation Fund rejected her request, ruling that it was not sufficiently proven that there was "factual knowledge and ineffective action by the institution regarding the abuse." But the National Ombudsman found that the fund wrongly discarded De Geus' evidence, calling the rejection inimitable. 

The Amsterdam woman therefore decided to file a lawsuit against the Dutch State, accusing the state of unlawfully denying her request for recognition. She is also suing Youth Protection for negligence.

A number of other victims of abuse in youth care are closely following developments in De Geus' case, was revealed at a meeting for such victims with De Winter committee over the weekend, according to NOS. The De Winter committee has been investigating abuses in youth care. Their investigation revealed, among other things, that the average victim of abuse in youth care was abused for 7.5 years, and that some children's homes forced the kids in their care to take sedatives for years.