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Dutch commission on abuse finds Catholic girls were sexually victimized at home, in church

A commission investigating abuse of children linked to Dutch Roman Catholic institutions says girls were sexually abused by members of the clergy in their homes and in church, while they suffered physical abuse and intimidation at the hands of nuns in boarding schools.

The report follows a previous study focused on boys, which found boys were vulnerable to sexual abuse in boarding schools.

The commission, led by former Hague mayor Wim Deetman, was funded by the Catholic church. In preliminary conclusions in December 2011 it estimated that up to 20,000 children were molested at Catholic institutions between 1945 and 2010.

The commission has turned over to police only the handful of abuse cases it thinks are prosecutable. It recommends mediation for the rest.