The state will apologize for violence, sexual assault and forced castration in nursing homes

Earlier today, Minister of Social Affairs and Housing Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil announced that an apology will be given by the state for assaults committed in care homes, reports DR.

The offenses took place between 1933 and 1980 in the sector once known as ‘care for the special and mentally retarded’. The proposed apology follows a government investigation, published last year, which revealed the extent of the abuse during that period.

In that time frame, 27,500 Danes were placed in special care. Many of them were allegedly subjected to sexual abuse and violence.

At this time, the state has not issued an official apology for the handling of the situation. Rosenkrantz-Theil says it will be broadcast in May.

One of the most shocking aspects of the investigation is the forced sterilization of people with physical or mental defects.

This practice began after sterilization was legalized in 1929. It met with little opposition from the government and came in the wake of a public debate about eugenics.

“About 11,000 people were sterilized between 1929 and 1967, when forced sterilization legislation was eliminated,” according to Eugenics Archive.

“Sterilization declined rapidly in the mid-1940s through the 1950s, however, in the wake of World War II,” the website claims. “In 1997, the Danish government launched an official investigation into the sterilization law. The results of this investigation are unknown, as well as any resulting compensation.”

Case reopened
After the 1997 investigation did not lead to a decision, Astrid Krag, the former government’s minister of social affairs, opened a new one.

The discoveries were shocking and prompted many relatives of those affected to initiate legal proceedings against the government.

The apology has no immediate effect on whether the aggrieved parties receive compensation.

Questions remain as to why it has taken the government 43 years since the closure of the old nursing homes to reach an admission of wrongdoing.

For now, the state can only apologize unofficially, according to Rosenkrantz-Theil, who clarified: “We offer a deep apology from the state to the people who have been subjected to some completely incomprehensible abuse in state custody.”

Source: The Nordic Page

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