Teenage sexual violence victims are ending up in secure institutions

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

Children who have been sexually abused are too often ending up in secure accommodation, according to a new report from the national rapporteur on human trafficking and the sexual abuse of children.

At least one in 10 girls who have been abused and get help are in a closed institution and 85% of the girls in secure accommodation are the victim of sexual violence, the report said.

Closed juvenile institutions are meant only for youngsters who have not responded to lighter forms of care. In 2016, 700 youngsters were being held in secure accommodation and girls are more likely to end there than boys, the new report said.

In 2016, almost 6,000 youngsters received help after being the victim of sexual violence, such as rape. Their number has been dropping, possibly due to the rise in online forms of sexual violence, such as grooming and threats, the report said.

The report aims to map what sort of help youngsters are given, but organisations are not required to register what treatment individual children are given. ‘If we don’t know what sort of help abused children are given, we cannot know if we are giving them the right help,’ the rapporteur Herman Bolhaar said.

Veilig Thuis, the most important hotline for registering domestic violence and child abuse does not keep proper records of how many reports of sexual violence it receives, or what is done with them, broadcaster NOS said.

The organisation is an umbrella group for 26 regional organisations which all have their own ways of working and is currently working on an improved system.

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