“I’m sure there are many more attacks than we like to think,” says trauma treatment head.
Child molesters are getting harder to detect in Norway. Experts believe as many as 55,000 children are assaulted sexually.
Turid Kavli, head of the trauma unit at the Betania Malvik centre near Trondheim, thinks the figure is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Nobody knows exactly how big the problem of child sex abuse is, [but] I’m sure there are many more attacks than we like to think. There is reason to believe thousands of Norwegian children are subjected to this,” she tells Aftenposten.
Margrete Wiede Aasland, counselling specialist and general manager of the Institute for Clinical Sexology and Therapy in Oslo, says results from a research study show as many as 55,000 children, five percent of all children under 18 years of age, are subjected to sexual abuse.
Five adults accused of seriously sex attacks on four children are to face trial this week.
Mrs Kavli says whilst this case is far from unique, what makes it special was that police uncovered it. It is also not uncommon for attackers to be parents or close relatives, she claims.
“It seems as though most attackers are apparently well-functioning citizens. They do not catch your attention. It also makes it more difficult to detect what is going on. It takes place behind all doors, facades, and with all types of children. Many of them are affected for life, and there is a major risk of being abused again,” she says.