Buddhist sexual abuse reporting center launched

by Janene Pieters, NL Times, Nov 2, 2015

The Hague, Netherlands -- An independent reporting center has been launched for victims of sexual abuse within the Buddhist community, in response to the recent reports about sexual abuse among Buddhists.

“Firstly we want to offer victims and those around them a place to tell their story”, Arda Gerkens, director of the foundation who founded the new digital reporting center, said to broadcaster NOS. “On the basis of the reports that come in, we will identify the nature and extent of the problem. If that is clear, we have the experience and expertise to give good advice to those involved.” Advice can range from referring victims to the suitable authorities to giving information on how to report the crime to the police. “The ultimate aim is of course to prevent further abuse as much as possible.”

Victims can make an appointment for a telephone conversation on the reporting center’s website, or report the crime via a web form. According to Gerkens, this is the first contact point for Buddhists sexual abuse victims world wide.

The reporting center is funded by donations from, among others, the Thai Buddharama Temple in Waalwijk and the Buddhist Union – the contact point between the government and the Buddhist community in the Netherlands.