Heart-wrenching report of abuse towards disabled children at an Iceland institution

Kópavogshæli was an institution for the mentally and physically disabled …

Kópavogshæli was an institution for the mentally and physically disabled from 1952. mbl.is/Golli

A new report on Kópavogshæli, an institution for the mentally and physically handicapped from 1952- 1993 was featured on RÚV news tonight. The report shows that most of the children there were neglected, abused or lived in fear of abuse.

The report was delivered to the Ministry of Justice today.

Children were often put in restraints, tied to their beds or to other furniture, locked up, overmedicated, and in extreme cases, burned or made to eat their own vomit.

178 individidals under 18 years of age dwelled at the institute from 1952- 1993, the youngest being a one-year-old.  One person lived there for 37 years.

The hard-hitting report says that the institute was under-staffed, under-funded and overcrowded. The government is criticised for neglecting to supervise the conditions of the children there.

The committee revealing the result of their report.

The committee revealing the result of their report. mbl.is/Golli

In the report, parents report being horrified at having to leave their children there and one mother of a girl who was placed there at two years old says she cried every time she left the girl there and that she remembers that period of time "as a blur."

The committee that wrote the report is looking into how the people who are still living today can claim compensation for what they endured.

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