There were fewer reports of actual or suspected child abuse and domestic violence last year to an official Dutch body, but more people sought advice.
The CBS Dutch statistics office reports that in 2021, the Veilig Thuis alert and help point, received almost 120,000 reports of (suspected) abuse, compared with around 128,000 in 2020. However, it was called for advice from victims, witnesses or professionals 134,000 times, an increase of almost 12,000 on the previous year.
Veilig Thuis – which means ‘safe at home’ – is a government organisation people can call or text for advice or tips in unsafe situations at home. In serious cases, it can also take action.
Last year, according to the CBS, there were fewer reports from police and more questions from citizens. Almost two thirds of reports on unsafe situations, however, were still made by the police, while child social services also made a large number.
Across the country, the service was used far more in certain areas, with 1,504 reports per 100,000 residents for situations in Almere compared with just 123 in Hattern in the east of the Netherlands.
One in 20 reports concerned an ‘acutely’ dangerous situation, while two in five were about generally unsafe circumstances, often involving multiple problems. It is unclear whether or not the pandemic and lock-downs had an influence on the reports and safety in the home.
If you have domestic safety concerns, you can contact Veilig Thuis on 0800 2000 or via www.veiligthuis.nl
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