Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection
The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) does extensive work on victim protection and the improvement of preventive measures. It especially informs about victim protection in criminal proceedings and victims’ rights. To this extent the BMJV offers these materials:
The Opferfibel is meant to give orientation in criminal proceedings and help victims make use of their rights. It explains how criminal proceedings work – starting at the first interview with the police, moving on to the main proceedings and finishing with the situation after the judgement has been passed. It especially highlights the victims’ position and rights.
The Brochure “Psychoscial Support in Criminal Trials” is meant to inform about the type of help psycho-social support for criminal proceedings can offer victims of especially serious crimes or their dependents.
Additionally the BMJV provides information on the Opferbeauftragten der Bundesregierung, who is the central contact for the victims of terrorist attacks in Germany. The leaflet "Help for Victims of Terrorism and their Relatives" informs victims on who to turn to specifically.
To inform young people about their rights in a way they can easily understand the BMJV implememted the website https://www.recht-relaxed.de . Furthermore, the Brochure “Ich habe Rechte” (I have rights) is meant for adolescent witnesses and is a comprehensive explanation of the way criminal proceedings work and offers an overview of existing options for help and support.
ProPK Polizeilichen Kriminalprävention der Länder und des Bundes
The ProPK is developing concepts, media and initiatives in project groups all around Germany to support local police authorities. Additionally it offers neutral counselling on all subjects of crime prevention. You’ll find extensive information on any questions regarding victim protection and victims’ rights, as well as procedures after certain crimes regarding interactions with police, online.
The Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues
On the website of the Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues (UBKSM) you’ll find extensive information pertaining to child sexual abuse for victims of any age, including adults that were abused in their childhood, as well as for relatives and people who wish to support victims. The website has information on prevention, processing past abuse and laws concerning child sexual abuse and offers a voice to victims and survivors in form of The Council of Victims and Survivors.
The Sexual Abuse Help Portal is the central federal portal for people who have suffered sexual abuse in their childhood or adolescence, and their relatives. They can find counselling centres and available therapies in their immediate vicinity. However, they also receive information on legal matters: for example, what happens in criminal proceedings, and how experts can guide and support them in these cases.
The Violence against Women Support Hotline
Part of the German Federal Office for Family, Senior, Women’s and Youth Affairs (BMFSFJ), the Violence against Women Support Hotline is available around the clock, 365 days a year and free of charge. It offers victims a way of receiving competent advice securely, anonymously and regardless of disability whenever they need. Their counsellors provide women with confidential support and if needed can help them find appropriate local support options in their area. Additionally it offers round-the-clock availability, high security standards and counselling available in many languages as well as regardless of disability. The Hotline is meant to be a first contact partner for victims but also offers information and counselling to relatives and professionals, who are confronted with violence against women within the scope of their work or volunteer activities.
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) is responsible for the Crime Victims Compensation Act (OEG) and offers information on possibilities of financial compensation after a violent crime. You can find additional information in their brochure "Hilfe für Opfer von Gewaltaten" (Help for Victims of Violent Crime), which is also available as a flyer.
Federal Foreign Office
The worldwide German missions abroad offer information regarding consular services. For detailed questions it is advised to contact the responsible German mission in the country of concern.
Arbeitskreis der Opferhilfen (ado)
The Arbeitskreis der Opferhilfen (ado) is a coalition of different professional victim support centres in the Federal Republic of Germany. This non-profit organization supports its members financially and ideationally and offer support to victims in society.
The Weisser Ring is a nationwide active victim support organization that helps helps victims of crime rebuild their lives after being victimized, through civic engagement. Additionally, they engage in public advocacy for the improvement of the legal and social situation of the damaged.
Stärker als Gewalt
„Stärker als Gewalt“ is a nationwide Initiative by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and part of the Federal Governments program “Gemeinsam gegen Gewalt an Frauen“, in the context of the Istanbul Convention and the governments coalition treaty. Together with 13 organizations in the field of aid and support, the initiative began work on the 25th of November 2019 , the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Its focus are men and women affected by violence, as well as their social environment, with the aim of helping them recognize, prevent and end violence. To this end, the website www.stärker-als-gewalt.de gathers a multitude of existing aid and consultation services, to assist in the early recognition violence against men and women and to support those affected more efficiently.
Federal Association of Rape Crisis Centres and Women's Counselling Centres (bff)
The federal association of rape crisis centres and women's counselling centres in Germany (bff) incorporates more than 180 centres. In Germany, they constitute the majority of mobile counselling and support facilities for female victims of violence. The efforts of the bff member centres focus on violence against women in all its forms: sexualised violence, violence perpetrated by (ex) partners, psychological violence, stalking, physical violence, structural violence, economic violence etc. Through low-threshold services, they provide psychosocial support for coping with the experience of violence. Moreover, the bff removes the taboos from violence against women through their PR work. They are also actively involved in preventing violence.
Association of Counseling Centers for Victims of Right-wing, Racist and Anti-Semitic Violence in Germany (VBRG e.V.)
The VBRG is the association of counseling centers for victims of right-wing, racist and anti-semitic violence. At present, 15 independent counselling organizations for people affected by this violence in 13 of Germany’s federal states are members in the association VBRG. They offer support in dealing with the consequences of violence and help victims exercise their rights. Additionally, the VBRG offers to o act as joint plaintiff in the criminal proceedings against perpetrators, provides information and access to material compensation and accompanies victims to the police, the public prosecutor’s office, in court or when dealing with immigration authorities, job centers or other institutions. All VBRG member organizations provide counseling that is client-oriented and partisan, out-reach-based, free of charge as well as confidential.
TERRE DES FEMMES
TERRE DES FEMMES is a non-profit human rights organization that takes an unequivocal stand for the rights of girls and women. Their work relies on international networking, comprehensive information, targeted activities and awareness-raising campaigns to support girls and women affected by violence. The main focus is on preventing the violation of women's rights . This includes domestic and sexual violence, trafficking in women and prostitution , honour crimes and forced marriage as well as female genital mutilation. Additionally, they raise public awareness for structural discrimination against women, for example through sexist advertising. TERRE DES FEMMES not only offers a variety of information on different topics but also provides an overwiev of domestic and international consulting contacts for forced marriage and honour crimes as well as a nation-wide list of contacts for medical, legal and social services related to female genital mutilation.