Swiss Catholic Church extends victims’ compensation fund

Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

A special fund set up to compensate people who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of representatives of the Catholic Church in Switzerland will be extended for another five years to allow more people to file claims.

This content was published on June 11, 2021 - 14:56

The fund, which was launched by the Swiss Bishops Conference, has paid out compensation to 140 victims of abuse since 2016 when it was set up.

The scope of the fund has also now widened. All victim assistance services in Switzerland can now help people file claims. Previously claims could only be made via a diocese or, in French-speaking Switzerland, via the independent sexual abuse commission CECAR. External link After being considered, the requests were sent to a reparations commission. 

The amount of compensation ranges from a single payment of CHF10,000 to CHF20,000 for very serious cases of abuse. However, the compensation fund only covers cases that have exceeded the statute of limitations or time limit within which legal proceedings may be initiated.

In 2010, the Swiss Catholic Church finally accepted responsibility for cases of sexual abuse by priests that had earlier come to light.

In 2019, it was reported that over 300 victims had come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against priests in Switzerland since 2010.

Sexual abuse within the Church has been reported across the globeExternal link but recognition and compensation has often been slow. 

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