The head of a British charity organization says nearly one in four UK kids have been abused.
Peter Saunders, founder of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) says: “I think that we as a society need still to do a lot to protect our children from the scourge of abuse, not the sexual abuse, but all forms of abuse in the United Kingdom today.”
Saunders told Press TV’s UK Desk on Sunday that “something about one in four of our children is subjected to abuse in childhood.”
His comments follow the Friday sentencing of British Catholic priest Tony McSweeney, 68, from West Sussex to three years in jail by a court for child abuse.
“The Catholic priest Father McSweeney was given three years in prison. He will serve less than half of that in prison for destroying the lives of children,” Saunders noted, adding: “He is a priest and therefore carries the authority. Three years is an extremely lenient sentence for a serious crime that he committed and the very great betrayal of trust that he has as a man supposedly of God.”
Asked about how child abuse could be curbed in the society, Saunders said: “I think a lot has to be done and it’s not only abuse by priests, but many of other people in society. We have to have zero tolerance of these crimes. We have to make sure that anybody who in court is convicted is given a very serious prison sentence as a deterrent. In terms of Catholic Church, they have got lot of work to do on rooting out the very many perpetrators of these crimes.”
Catholic priest Anthony McSweeney (pictured above) was sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting a teenage boy at a children's home in west London between 1979 and 1981.
Sweeney was found guilty of abusing the 15-year-old while working at the Grafton Close Children's Home in Hounslow.
A sexual harm prevention order was also made against him at the sentencing on March 27 at Southwark Crown Court.
Earlier in the trial, the priest confessed he had watched children in the shower and collected indecent videos of kids, the state-run BBC reported.