4 May 2008

Experts reveal that one in six girls in Austria abused at home

The unfathomable crime of Josef Fritzl has prompted experts to reveal that incestuous abuse is a regular occurrence in Austrian families.

Charlotte Aykler, the head of Violence Prevention Centre, an NGO dealing with victims of family violence that is also active in Amstteten, claims that incest and sexual abuse in Austrian families are widespread.

Mrs Aykler said: “Every sixth girl and every ninth boy has experienced sexual violence within their families. But it is always connected to much, much shame, and children are simply not speaking about it.” According to Mrs Aykler, the figures are based on the moderate estimates by experts dealing with the subject, but the real numbers could be drastically higher.

In Austria the number of cases involving “severe sexual abuse of minors” has risen to 296 in 2007 - an increase of 20 per cent compared with the previous year, while there were 313 cases of “sexual abuse of minors”. That is only the number of cases that have been reported to the police.

Times Online