A report by the Portuguese commission says at least 4,815 children were sexually abused in the past 70 years
According to a recent discovery made during a commission probe in Portugal, at least 4,815 children were sexually molested by members of the local Catholic Church.
The details of the investigations were published in a report by Reuters on Monday, February 13, and said that the abuse of children was mostly done by priests in the past 70 years.
“(We want) to pay a sincere tribute to those who were abuse victims during their childhood and dared to give a voice to silence,”, said a statement by Pedro Strecht, child psychiatrist, who is heading the commission.
He added, “the 4,815 cases were the absolute minimum number of victims of sexual abuse by clergy members in Portugal since 1950”.
“Most perpetrators (77%) were priests and most of the victims were men, Strecht continued, adding that “they were abused in Catholic schools, churches, priests’ homes, confessionals, among other locations”.
Strecht also said that in the majority of the cases, sexual abuse took place when the children were between the age of 10 to 14 and the youngest victim recorded was only two years old.
The work by the commission in Portugal began in January 2022 following a report from France that said, “around 3,000 priests and religious officials sexually abused over 200,000 children”.
Cases of abuse have been reported from every region of the country as well from Portuguese nationals living abroad.
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