Chile nun sues Catholic Church for damages after rape

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Chileans have been demonstrating against high levels of violence against women in the country

A nun in Chile is suing the religious order she belonged to after its members pressured her to leave her convent over her pregnancy.

The nun became pregnant after she was raped by a man carrying out repairs at the convent.

She alleges that, when her fellow sisters found out about her pregnancy, they pressured her to leave the convent and the Church.

Her lawyer says the sisters blamed her for having been raped.

She is suing the Archbishopric of Santiago and the Order of St Clare.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago, Rt Rev Jorge Concha, said that the nun had left the convent “voluntarily” and the Archbishopric had only found out about the rape and subsequent events on 27 March.

‘Fear and shame’

The nun told Chilean TV that she had joined the order in 2002 when she was 20 years old.

She said she lived inside a convent in the capital Santiago, with very little contact with the outside world.

But in 2012, a group of men was allowed into the convent to carry out some repairs. They lived and slept in the convent for the duration of the renovations and the nun was assigned to provide them with food.

One of them raped her, a fact she kept secret from her fellow sisters “out of fear and shame, because a sense of shame came over me and didn’t let me express myself,” she told 24 Horas.

Three months on, the sisters found out that she was pregnant.

“[I got] zero support, they told me I was to blame, that I did it on purpose,”…

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