>ORF has reported on more church-related unpleasantness; not pedophilia, but the old “Magdalene Sisters” methods, horrors that just shouldn’t be.
The woman was working as a nurse’s aide in a catholic institution for people with mental and physical disabilities in Innsbruck. By her second day at work, she had already begun to witness what kind of disciplinary measures were in use there.
“There were cold showers, straitjackets, curses, kicks, and the inmates were locked in the toilets for hours at a time. Once a child vomited, and was forced to eat his own vomit.”
The woman began to keep a journal of what she saw, of abuses from individual nurses. Five months later she tool her notes to the Juvenile Welfare Office and to other high regional offices, but found no one willing to listen.
“I thought they would be happy to have this information. Instead a man clapped me on the shoulder and said ‘Burn your journal and stop taking notes.’ The discussion were always about the people who worked there, whose actions were being unmasked by me, not about the helpless, severely abused children.”
Along with another witness willing to speak up, the woman turned to the media.
“Their primary reaction was that we were liars and traitors, and that we were trying to get money for this. Then I was told that I would never get a state government job again, and that the church wouldn’t help me train for other work.”
At age 22 the woman left Tirol for Vienna and trained there in social work. Ten years later she returned. She wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of being called names again, but the accusations she makes against herself are enough,
“feelings of shame and helplessness, because I had to admit to myself that I was paralyzed, and too weak [to continue to speak up].”
Her information led to no actions from the authorities — preliminary proceedings were abandoned for lack of proof. Some of the employees, then accused, are still working as medical caregivers.