People who suffered abuse in youth care can claim €5,000 in compensation under a new regulation that came into force on January 1.
The ruling applies to anyone who was subjected to violence or abuse while living in an institution or with a foster family between 1945 and 2019. Victims have until the end of 2022 to submit their claim.
An investigation commissioned by the government found in 2015 that 75% of children taken into care since the end of the war had suffered physical, verbal or sexual abuse as a result. Micha de Winter, professor of social sciences at the university of Utrecht, interviewed around 1,000 victims while compiling his 5,000-page report.
De Winter said the abuse of children in care was a ‘dark chapter’ in the Netherlands’ post-war history. ‘This isn’t about people getting hit once or twice, but systematic violence,’ he said.
‘We have been working on this for four years and we were pretty shocked by it. The people who experienced this violence often came from homes where there were problems and violence sometimes played a role. The effect was that they were exposed to it again.’