From Iceland — Victims Of Sexual Assault Within Church To Receive Restitution

Victims Of Sexual Assault Within Church To Receive Restitution

Published July 21, 2011

The national church of Iceland has announced that it will pay cash to victims of sexual assault at the hands of former bishop Ólafur Skúlason.
Last fall, the daughter of Ólafur came forward, saying she had been sexually assaulted by her father. Other women soon thereafter spoke publicly on having been assaulted by him as well. The matter sparked a tremendous exodus of people de-registering from the church, especially as the church’s initial response was to circle the wagons, and as it came to light that the current bishop – who was a priest at the time of the assaults – knew about Ólafur’s sexual misconduct, but hid evidence of it for over a year.
The church has since then been scrambling for ways to staunch the flow of people leaving. Vísir now reports that the church is working out a deal with the four women assaulted by the former bishop.
The monetary amount being offered could be around 6 million ISK, although what other parts of the offer for restitution were involved was not discussed. The church hopes a deal can be reached by the end of the week.
But at least one victim considers an offer for money beside the point. “I have never sought money from the church,” said Stefanía Þorgrímsdóttir. “It is always relative what people consider fair. This matter closed for me when the [internal church] investigative committee submitted its report. This compensation is entirely the offer of the church.”

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