Only a handful of Youth Care abuse reports can lead to charges: report

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

Of the around 1 thousand reports about sexual, physical and psychological abuse in youth care, only six may result in criminal prosecution. The rest of the cases are time-barred, newspaper Trouw reports based on data requested from the Public Prosecution Service.

The De Winter committee, which investigated abuses in Youth Care, opened a hotline where victims could come forward. Around a thousand of reports were received. Of these, the committee submitted 17 to the Public Prosecutor for examination. Eleven turned out to be time-barred. The victims of the other six cases can file a police report if they wish to. 

The investigation focused on abuse cases from 1945 onwards. The limitation period for physical violence against children is between 12 and 20 years, starting from when the victim turns 18. So legal action is no longer possible in many of these cases. 

Whether these six cases will eventually result in prosecution, depends on the facts and circumstances, the newspaper writes. No details are known about these cases. Christiaan Ruppert of the De Winter Committee called the six cases "a meager harvest", according to the newspaper. 

Investigation by the De Winter committee revealed that kids who were abused in youth care and foster care, faced violence for an average of 7.5 years. They also found that in the 1970s, some Dutch children's homes forced the children in their care to take sedatives and anti-depressants