Victims of child abuse by Catholic priests in Italy have gathered in Verona, and called for such abuse to be made a crime against humanity.
Dozens of victims and their families went to the public meeting, the first of its kind in Italy.
Organiser Salvatore Damolo, a former victim and an ex-priest, said the aim was to give victims a platform to talk about their experiences.
He appealed for help in seeking justice for those who have been abused.
Italian bishops say around 100 cases of abuse have been investigated by Church authorities in the past decade. But organisers of the conference say the true number of victims is much higher.
Justice for the abused is hard to come by because Italy has a statute of limitations of 10 years, meaning that by the time victims came forward, it was often too late, Mr Damolo said.
“Here there is no hope. By the time a victim arrives at the awareness of having been a victim, legal intervention is not possible,” he told the Associated Press news agency.
Victims of child abuse by priests will hold a demonstration outside the Vatican next month against the Catholic Church’s role in the scandal, an Italian organisation said on Saturday.
Associations of US victims have been invited to take part in the October 31 protest, the group said in a report by Italian ANSA news agency.
“This will be an international protest and we will go in front of the Vatican to denounce once again these numerous (paedophiles) that shocked young victims and weren’t known until now,” Marco Lodo Rizzini, a spokesman of victims from the Antonio Provolo institute, was quoted as saying.
Sixty-seven deaf-mute children at the Catholic institute in the city of Verona were allegedly abused by priests and lay staff between the 1950s and 1980s.
“The hour has come for the truth to be known,” Lodo Rizzini said.