Titre: Sexual Abuse at the Hands of Catholic Clergy Auteur:Dreßing, Harald; Dölling, Dieter; Hermann, Dieter; Kruse, Andreas; Schmitt, Eric; Bannenberg, Britta; Hoell, Andreas; Voss, Elke; Salize, Hans Joachim Description:
When cases of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church became known, the German Bishops' Conference (Deutsche Bischofskonferenz, DBK) commissioned a study by an interdisciplinary consortium to determine the frequency of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Germany (the MHG study). Qualitative and quantitative research methods were used and the subject matter of the study was analyzed in seven component projects. To determine the frequency of sexual abuse, 38 156 personnel files of Catholic clergy from the period 1946 to 2014 were studied, and the epidemiologic findings of these evaluations are presented. 1670 persons belonging to the Catholic clergy who were accused of sexual abuse of minors were identified from their personnel files, corresponding to 4.4% of the clergy overall. 3677 victims of sexual abuse could be linked to the accused persons; 62.8% of them were male, and 66.7% were under 14 years old when the abuse took place. The mean duration of the abuse in individual cases was 1.3 years. "Hands-on" abuses (i.e., abuses involving bodily contact) occurred in more than 80% of cases. Many of the affected persons suffered serious consequences for their health and social functioning. The ones most commonly reported were anxiety, depression, mistrust, sexual problems, and difficulties with interpersonal contact. The figures reported here should be considered a lower bound to the actual frequency of sexual abuse. Asymmetrical power relationships in a closed system such as the Catholic Church can facilitate sexual abuse. Physicians play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of the victims of sexual abuse, in the diagnosis and treatment of persons inclined to commit abuses and actual abusers, and in the development and implementation of preventive strategies.
Fait partie de:
Deutsches Arzteblatt international, 31 May 2019, Vol.116(22), pp.389-396
1866-0452 (E-ISSN); 31366429 Version (PMID); 10.3238/arztebl.2019.0389 (DOI)