Leaders at Children’s houses think concealing abuse should be punished

Children's play room at the emergency room at TeisenOslo. Children's play room at the emergency room at Teisen.Photo : Ole Gunnar Onsøien / NTB scanpix

The paragraph that allows for sentencing those who do not speak out about abuse that they know of, should be used more often, leaders at the Children’s houses in northern Norway think.

– There are very few who are held responsible for not having prevented violence or sexual abuse of children,  the head of the Children’s house in Tromsø, Ståle Luther, says to NRK Troms.
He believes there is great ignorance about the so-called obligation to avert in the Criminal Code, which includes the obligation to prevent criminal acts such as abuse, in a way that supersedes the duty of confidentiality.
Leader Lene Sivertsen for Support against incest and sexual abuse (SMISO) in Troms, thinks that people have to endure the discomfort of speaking up.
– I understand that discomfort, but it is more uncomfortable, painful and difficult for children to be abused than it is for us adults to notify the authorities of this.
The obligation to avert was strengthened in 2010. Under the new rules, for a person to be obligated to notify the authorities of such an offense, it is sufficient that the person in question  thinks that it is likely that the current offense is imminent or about to be committed.

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today