Manuela Eanes shocked by cases of child abuse | sexual abuse

The honorary president of the Instituto de Apoio à Criança, Manuela Eanes, was shocked this Friday by the cases of sexual abuse of minors, considering it to be the “most monstrous and most disgusting crime there can be”.

“I’m always shocked when it’s a magistrate, when it’s a priest, when it’s a father” who mistreats or abuses a child, said Manuela Eanes, questioned about the recently publicized cases involving members of the Catholic Church in Portugal.

“We created the Instituto de Apoio à Criança 40 years ago” at a time when “neither the newspapers nor the television talked about mistreated and abused children, which is the most monstrous and most disgusting crime there can be”, said Manuela Eanes, who claims to be Catholic.

The former first lady of Portugal was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Manuel Gomes Guerreiro Eco-Botanical Trail, in Querença, in the municipality of Loulé.

The Independent Commission for the Study of Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church validated 512 testimonies, pointing, by extrapolation, to at least 4815 victims. Twenty-five cases were sent to the Public Ministry, which opened 15 investigations, of which nine were closed.

The testimonies refer to cases that occurred between 1950 and 2022, the time span covered by the commission’s work.

In the report, released in February, the commission warned that the data collected in ecclesiastical archives on the incidence of sexual abuse “should be understood as the “tip of the iceberg”” of this phenomenon. The commission provided diocesan bishops with lists of alleged abusers, some still active.

The Instituto de Apoio à Criança (IAC), founded in 1983 by Manuela Eanes, then First Lady of Portugal, is a Portuguese social solidarity institution that aims to promote and protect the rights of children.

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