Austria asks: How did this happen again?
April 28, 2008 8:24 AM Subscribe
"The whole country must ask itself just what is really, fundamentally going wrong."
posted by essexjan (133 comments total)
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An Austrian pensioner has admitted holding his daughter captive in a basement for 24 years, during which time he fathered seven children with her.
Inexplicably, three of the children were later adopted by him and his wife, on the premise that their daughter had gone to live with a religious cult. One baby died, and its body was burned by the (grand)father in the back garden.
The daughter and her other children lived in the basement
, accessible only through a metal door secured by a combination known only to her father, with no access to sunlight or fresh air. Their one concession was a television.
The escape came when the woman's 19-year-old captive child fell seriously ill, and her mother secreted a note in her clothing which was found by hospital staff.
Their ordeal is far from over - the mother and the three captive children will need therapy that's beyond imagination. As will, no doubt, the other family members affected by this.
But, following the Natasha Kampusch
case two years ago, questions are being asked
in Austria about how this could have happened in a small town where the family was well-known. The abuser was not a loner weirdo.
And, of course, it couldn't happen in the UK, could it? As the British Government increases court fees for care proceedings by 2,500%
, the risk of more children slipping through the safety net increases.