The Episcopal Conference of Switzerland (ECS) recently released figures that show a steep rise in the number of cases of sexual abuse reported in 2017 in the Catholic church in Switzerland.
After a steep fall in reported cases from 115 in 2010 to 9 in 2012, the number rose to 65 in 2017.
The ECS said that throughout 2017 sexual abuse in the church has been in the media, and that the Catholic church in Switzerland has since 2010 continued to shine more light on this dark chapter, which may have encouraged certain victims to come forward.
Of the total cases reported since 2010, nearly 11% (30) are alleged to have taken place after 2010, suggesting the problem of sexual abuse has not disappeared.
Of the total cases reported since 2010, 63% of victims were 16 or younger and 27% were 12 or younger.
In a press release the ECS invited new victims to come forward.
Yesterday, across the Atlantic, New York’s attorney general launched an investigation into whether the Catholic church covered up allegations of the sexual abuse of children, and created a hotline for victims.
Last month, after a two year investigation, a grand jury in Pennsylvania revealed that more than 1,000 children had been abused by priests. The report says: “Over one thousand child victims were identifiable, from the church’s own records. We believe that the real number – of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid ever to come forward – is in the thousands. Most of the victims were boys; but there were girls too. Some were teens; many were pre-pubescent. Some were manipulated with alcohol or pornography.”
Episcopal Conference of Switzerland statistics (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now
Episcopal Conference of Switzerland press release (in French)
Pennsylvania grand jury report (in English)