Clément Wieilly, Former Verding child, Switzerland

Clément Wieilly was born in 1954 in the canton of Fribourg. At the age of three, he was taken away from his parents and placed in the Pringy sanatorium. He was then transferred to the bourgeois orphanage of Fribourg, where he was the victim of severe physical and psychological violence almost daily for the next ten years: He was frequently deprived of food and regularly beaten with a carpet beater. In addition, his head was repeatedly pushed into cold water or covered with a pillow until he fell unconscious. From the age of eight, Clément Wieilly was hired out to various farmers during the holidays. All this meant that he was never able to get a proper education. He first saw his mother again when she was dying at the age of 42. It was only when the canton of Fribourg released the files of those affected that he was able to come to terms with his past. Clément Wieilly learned that his mother had unsuccessfully applied to the authorities for financial support for her children. In addition to his brothers, he had two older sisters, one of whom died young. Clément Wieilly also learned from the files that his parents had been deprived of custody in 1957 without any justification on record. Today, Clément Wieilly lives in poverty and still suffers from the traumatic experiences.

Copyright Simone Padovani

victim of abuse justice initiative