A report into sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in the Netherlands recommends organising help for the victims as quickly as possible and providing compensation.
The Deetman report presented in The Hague earlier today, fiercely criticises an organisation set up by the church to help victims. The executive board of Hulp & Recht (Help and Justice) has offered to stand down in response. The commission, which itself was set up by the church, recommends setting up an independent organisation to help the victims.
The reports of sexual abuse by priests in Catholic institutions began last February. Since then, 1975 cases have been brought to light. In some cases the abuse took place as long as 50 years ago. Shortly before the preliminary findings of the report were due to be published, victims called for a parliamentary inquiry, so that people could be heard under oath.
Coincidently, the two journalists who first uncovered the scandal, Robert Chesal of Radio Netherlands Worldwide and Joep Dohmen of daily evening paper NRC Handelsblad, were jointly named Journalist of the Year today.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide