Germany faces up to sexual abuse after scandals at Catholic, other schools
Schools, church choirs, and sports and scouts' clubs have all started reforming to better protect children. And Chancellor Angela Merkel has made confronting trauma and inappropriate adult-children relationships a priority: On April 23 government ministers are scheduled to meet with educators and children's advocates to talk about compensation, criminal prosecution, and prevention.
The Rev. Ansgar Thim, who handles abuse cases for the Roman Catholic diocese of Hamburg, says he was "overwhelmed" by the extent of revelations about Jesuit priests molesting children and adolescents – first in Berlin, and later at the St. Ansgar School in Hamburg, the St. Blasien College in the Black Forest, and in several parishes in Lower Saxony. "We're not prepared," he says. "But there is movement now."
At the same time, some 100 former pupils of Odenwald, a secular, progressive elite school, said sexual abuse there had been rampant.