A report by an independent commission set up to investigate cases of child sexual abuse in Portugal’s Catholic Churches has revealed that at least 4,815 children had suffered abuses since 1950.
A commission investigating the issue, in its report on Monday, said 77 percent of perpetrators were priests, and most of the victims were men.
Portugal’s independent inquiry commissioned by the Church, began working on the report last year after an investigation in France revealed that about 3,000 priests and religious officials sexually abused more than 200,000 children.
The allegations came from people of different backgrounds and countries as well as Portuguese nationals living in other countries.
In October 2022, the experts working on the report said it had recorded 424 legitimate accounts from victims, and warned that their testimonies indicated the number of victims was “much larger”.
“We want to pay a sincere tribute to those who were abuse victims during their childhood and dared to give a voice to silence. They are much more than a statistic,” Head of the Commission and Child Psychiatrist, Pedro Strecht, said, while submitting the report to the church.
Strecht said the children were abused in catholic schools, priests’ homes, and during confessionals, among other locations.
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