Germany should compensate all people who were sexually abused as children, an official appointed to inquire into decades of abuse in boarding schools and church groups recommended Tuesday.
The scandal arrived in Germany in January last year when a Catholic secondary day school in Berlin disclosed that two teachers had repeatedly molested boys.
Within weeks, other churches and non-religious groups admitted cases going back decades.
Christine Bergmann, a former minister of family affairs appointed as a commissioner of inquiry, said she had received 15,000 letters describing abuse.
The bulk of the cases had happened within families.
The Catholic Church has begun compensating people harmed by rogue priests, but people abused by parents or uncles have no one to give them compensation.
The German government should take over the cost of therapy for victims if no other party can pay, said Bergmann.
She said victims told her that understanding of their suffering was more important than money.
‘It’s so important to victims who had to keep silent for so long,’ she said on ARD television.
Her recommendations were presented to a round table of government ministers, church leaders and sports officials who will have to decide how to respond and recommend legislation.
She said institutions ought to pay counselling bills and offer cash compensation on top of this.
Bergmann called for institutions to voluntarily raise the level of payouts to the level of what victims would have won if they had gone to court.
Most cases are so old that it is too late to go to court.
She said this would mean a sliding scale of compensation from 1,500 euros up to 50,000 euros (70,000 dollars) for the worst cases.