Gov't to compensate victims of sex abuse in youth care: report

Child with teddy bear

The Dutch government will pay compensation to victims who faced violence and sexual abuse while under the care of youth care, sources confirmed to NOS. Ministers Hugo de Jonge of Public Health and Sander Dekker for Legal Protection already offered the government's apologies for what happened to these victims. 

Exactly what the compensation will look like, will be revealed during a meeting in Nieuwegein on Friday afternoon, according to the broadcaster's sources. One victim already took the government to court to claim compensation.

A committee led by Micha de Winter investigated violence in youth care from 1945 onwards. Their report was published last year. The researchers found that 75 percent of all children who were in youth care since 1945 faced physical, verbal or sexual violence. Abuse occurred in youth care institutions, in foster care, in psychiatry, and in homes for young people with minor mental disabilities. 

De Winter said that he heard stories "so shocking that he could hardly believe them". Children were taken away from their parents because the parents were "un-social". Children who wet the bed were forced to undress and had wet underpants stuffed in their mouth while the rest of the group watched. Children were beaten with belts. 

These children were insufficiently protected and no one intervened to stop the abuse, De Winter concluded. These children faced abuse for an average of 7.5 years. As a result, they have struggled with relationships or the raising of their own children for the rest of their lives. 

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