The SASCA project

SASCA is a two years project carried out by an European partnership composed by NGO’s, Universities, Public agencies and Victims associations from Italy, Ireland, Greece and Romania. The project is co-founded by European Union through the EC Justice Programme in line with the specific objective of Justice Programme to facilitate effective access to justice for all, including promotion and supporting the right of victims of crime and in particular “Capacity-building of relevant professionals on victims’ needs for assistance, information, support, protection and compensation”.

The project addresses the problem of child abuse in institutional settings, particularly in residential care, from the perspective of adult survivors in order to understand the long terms effects of such events, how and if the survivors of these crimes may find protection and compensation in the existing legal framework, and how their experience may enlighten prevention strategy for the protection of children living  today in residential care.

The child abuse in institutional settings is still an under-researched area and it has not received the proper attention and recognition by the scientific community.

The reactions of professionals and, more in general, of the social community  to disclosures of child  abuse in institutional settings tend to be of skepticism or defensive because they feel themselves as accused.

Experience has shown that victims face difficulties in access to justice also due to the legal framework which is often not suited to their conditions, and institutional response is often secretive or inadequate. This situation culminated in the lack of access to justice and a secretive or inadequate institutional response that often characterizes disclosure of abuse in institutional settings.

The adult survivors need to have recognized the abuse they suffered also in the social environment by institutions and by the Justice, in this regards; one of the main problem that arise is the prescription of offenses and the lack of experience, in particularly in Europe, in representing effectively, in the justice system, the rights of persons who suffered abuse when they were child.

In relation to those problems and needs, the objectives of the projects are:

  • Creating common knowledge and synergies on support adult victims in childhood of abuse in institutionalized contexts.
  • Identify best practices for support of adult survivors of violence that happened in institutionalized contexts when they were children.
  • Promote awareness on the importance of acknowledge of public responsibility and moral compensation in cases of institutional abuse and provide an evidence base for developments in policy, practice, service provision and prevention of child abuse in institutional settings.