European Network on Victims' Rights
GERMANY – Specific measures during COVID-19 crisis


GERMANY – Specific measures during COVID-19 crisis


1) Good practices on communication with victims and crime reporting

“Not safe at home?” campaign in supermarkets:

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth recently started a nationwide campaign in supermarkets, as part of the “stronger than violence” initiative. The aim of the campaign is to inform people who experience domestic violence and their friends and family about available help and support services.

Initiative “stronger than violence” offers information about support services:

The website of the initiative #stronger than violence (www.staerker-als-gewalt.de) by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth brings together existing support services for women and men, who are affected by violence, and offers practical solutions and ways to help and support. The website additionally offers up to date information on where to access help and support during the coronavirus crisis. An overview of the most important (crisis) support services are instantly available when opening the website.

Continued running of the National Violence Against Women Helpline 08000 116 016

The National Helpline “Violence Against Women”, funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, is continuing its extremely important service during the Coronavirus crisis. It offers around the clock support on 365 days per year and can be reached via phone, chat or email. More than 80 qualified female support workers offer help and guidance to women, who are affected by violence, people from their social circle and professionals working in the sector. The support is free, anonymous, confidential and available in 18 languages. Due to Coronavirus-related measures, the helpline team is facing additional challenges, but everything is done to ensure the continued running of the service.


2) Good practices on organisation of support and protection

Additional measures of the German Federal government can be found on the Council of Europe website:

https://www.coe.int/en/web/genderequality/promoting-and-protecting-women-s-rights  


3) Other good practices  

It should be noted that the measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic such as quarantine, self-isolation and social distancing have put a particular strain on victims traumatised by terrorist and extremist attacks, including hate crime. They are often times now more than ever in need of professional, psychological support.  However, many procedures aiming to provide financial, psycho-social and psychological support have been put on hold or slowed down. In Germany, we have made the experience that it is very beneficial to have central contact points such as the Federal Government Commissioner for the Victims and Bereaved of Terrorist Offences committed on National Territory and the Victim Commissioners in the federal states (“Länder”) in order to provide practical assistance and guidance to victims of crime. This may consist in finding contact persons in public authorities, directly contacting the responsible institution raising awareness for the victims’ needs or directing victims to local support organisations. The Federal Government Commissioner is also providing a helpline for those affected by the recent attacks in Halle (Saale)/Landsberg and Hanau, offering psychological support.