A lay committee trying into historic baby intercourse abuse within the Portuguese Catholic Church mentioned Thursday that in its first month of labor it obtained allegations from 214 folks.
The allegations are from folks born between 1933 and 2006 and inform of psychological torment saved secret for many years, the Impartial Committee for the Examine of Baby Abuse within the Church mentioned.
“This struggling is related to emotions of disgrace, concern, guilt and self-exclusion, reinforcing the concept of lives the place the feeling of `standing on the sidelines’ was at all times current,” the committee mentioned in an announcement.
Portuguese church officers mentioned two years in the past that authorities had investigated solely a few dozen allegations of sexual abuse involving Portuguese clergymen since 2001. Greater than half of these instances had been dropped as a result of church investigators determined there wasn’t sufficient proof to pursue them.
The six-person committee, which incorporates psychiatrists, a former Supreme Courtroom choose and a social employee, guarantees anonymity for anybody who comes ahead. It formally started its work on Jan. 1.
The committee, which is able to report back to the Portuguese Bishops’ Convention on the finish of the yr, says its job is to check what baby intercourse abuse has occurred, not launch formal investigations.
Lots of the allegations recommend a powerful risk that different kids could have been victims of the identical abuser, the assertion mentioned.
The witness statements had been obtained on-line, with alleged victims filling in a type on the committee’s web site, or by telephone or in face-to-face interviews.
Allegations got here in from throughout the nation, the committee mentioned, in addition to from Portuguese now residing in america, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland, the place there are giant Portuguese immigrant communities.
As a result of most statements had been obtained on-line, the committee is stepping up its efforts to succeed in folks in much less developed areas of the nation who is probably not used to utilizing know-how.
It’s recruiting the assistance of charities, civic associations and parish councils, amongst others, to hep get the phrase out.
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