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"Inner Apocalypse" - Abuse in the Protestant Church

2021-10-28T13:45:08.155Z

For years the Catholic Church has not gotten rid of the scandal of massive sexual abuse. The cases in the Protestant Church almost go under.



For years the Catholic Church has not gotten rid of the scandal of massive sexual abuse.

The cases in the Protestant Church almost go under.

Munich - Horst Eschment still calls it his "inner apocalypse": In kindergarten he was sexually abused by a parish pastor.

He speaks of “stones of pain, fear, shame and guilt” and today he wants to “give a voice to those who were silent”.

Eschment is one of three so-called co-researchers who, as victims, are working on a study on sexual abuse in the Protestant Church.

Detlev Zander is a second.

At the presentation of the study financed by the Evangelical Church on Thursday in Munich, he urged that other affected persons should report - so that it finally becomes clear: “What happens when, how, where?” That he is involved in the study as a person affected , was "a milestone", the study was "useful to (...) make it clear that there was sexual violence in the Protestant church and the diakonia".

He also calls on other affected parties to report.

Because he is "afraid that if few people affected get in touch, the EKD could always say: We don't have that many".

He emphasizes: Silence strengthens the power of the perpetrators.

The focus is not on the Evangelical Church

While the Catholic Church has been fighting very publicly and very controversially for the right way to deal with sexual abuse in its ranks for more than ten years, the Protestant Church, on the other hand, is not so much in focus.

And that, although there have been proven cases there too.

According to the EKD, 881 cases of sexual violence have been reported to the recognition commissions of the regional churches, which have occurred since the 1950s in the area of ​​the Protestant Church and the Diakonie.

"The vast majority of cases come from the context of home education," says an EKD spokesman.

According to the information, the regional churches have so far paid around 7.4 million euros to victims.

In addition, around 74.8 million euros were paid into the home education fund and the Recognition and Aid Foundation.

These were the recommendations of the 2010 Round Table "Home Education" and the 2012 Round Table "Child Sexual Abuse".

Studies on the number of unreported cases

The five studies that the EKD is now funding refer to these well-known figures.

All of them are so-called "bright field studies", they do not illuminate the dark field, the existence of which experts assume.

The EKD financed the study now presented in Munich - and four others too.

Together, the five sub-studies are intended to provide an overview of sexual abuse under the umbrella of church and diakonia.

The results should be available by the end of 2023, and the church will pay around 3.6 million euros for them.

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The President of the Church Office of the EKD, Hans Ulrich Anke, emphasized last year: “We hope that the processing study will provide a comprehensive picture of past and present mistakes as well as particular risks, in order to make our congregations and institutions an even safer place for To make children and young people. "

Structures that encourage sexual violence

The aim of the studies is to uncover structures in the Protestant Church that encourage sexual violence and make it difficult to come to terms with it.

The research network is coordinated by the Hanover University of Applied Sciences, and the institute for practical research and project consulting (IPP) is in charge of the Munich sub-study, which has already dealt with abuse in children's homes and in the Catholic monastery in Ettal.

The sociologist Helga Dill from the IPP names “inpatient youth welfare services, disabled assistance” as just a few examples of crime scenes.

“Youth groups, music groups, choir”.

The focus is on sexual violence against children and adolescents, but also against - mostly female - adults.

Overall, according to Zander, abuse in the Protestant Church in Germany still receives too little attention.

“The EKD has always been able to hide that well, its so-called scandals,” he says.

And she succeeded, "because the Protestant Church likes to hide behind the Catholic".

dpa

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-10-28

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