The Weekend Leader - Dutch teen rape victim ends life with euthanasia

Dutch teen rape victim ends life with euthanasia



A 17-year-old Dutch girl, who suffered years of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anorexia after being sexually assaulted as a child, has ended her life.

Noa Pothoven died on Sunday in an "end-of-life clinic" bed in her living room in the Netherlands after battling mental health problems for years and deciding to refuse food.

The teenager from Arnhem city decided to end her life after sexual assaults and rapes as a small girl that led her to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anorexia.

Pothoven was attacked and sexually abused three times as a youngster -- at the age of 11 and 12 at children's parties, and was raped by two when she was 14.

For years she never revealed the abuse because it left her feeling ashamed, the 17-year-old had said. In 2018, Pothoven said she had reported attacks to the police saying she hoped the men would one day be arrested.

She told the Gelderlander in December she at one point contacted the Life End Clinic in The Hague without telling her loved ones to discuss euthanasia.

"Out of fear and shame, I relive the fear, that pain every day. Always scared, always on my guard. And to this day my body still feels dirty. My house has been broken into, my body, that can never be undone," the teenager said.

Noa spent her final hours saying goodbye to her heartbroken friends and family. The day before she died, the Dutch teen posted a message on Instagram revealing her decision to die. "After years of battling and fighting, I am drained," she said.

Pope Francis on Wednesday called euthanasia and assisted suicide "a defeat for all" following the teenager's death. The Pontifical Academy for Life described Pothoven's death as "a great loss for any civil society and for humanity."

"We must always assert the positive reasons for life," it added in a tweet. IANS

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