“Completely d'accord

Compensation for victims of sexual abuse is a done deal: a working group of the German government's Round Table has agreed that victims of cases that are time-barred should also receive aid. Towards our site welcomes the Catholic Church's recommendations.

The commissioner of the German Bishops' Conference for the ies of sexual abuse, the Trier Bishop Stephan Ackermann, said on Wednesday (05.10.2011) to our site on the sidelines of the fall plenary meeting in Fulda, the proposals presented were "in the sense in which we have also discussed". With that, Ackermann recalled that the church itself had been involved in the deliberations of the working group. She said that the Catholic Church's decision to publish details of its own handling of the ie at an early stage had proved correct. "It was important to us that this was as compatible as possible with what was being discussed at the round table."

The Protestant Church in Germany also welcomed the solution. The EKD expressly supports this solution, said the deputy of the EKD's plenipotentiary to the federal government, David Gill. Gill was a member of the working group. The EKD had worked intensively on the recommendations. It would now be up to the institutions to decide whether to pay money to the victims if the cases are already time-barred.

Maximum 10.000 euros per person affected
The state will pay a maximum of 10.The Federal Minister of Justice, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP), announced on Tuesday after the meeting that the government would pay a total of. Victims do not receive money directly. The concept still has to be decided by the Round Table, which is to meet for the last time on 30. November for the last time.

The working group agreed that institutions where children and teens have been sexually abused should pay for their own help, especially when it comes to compensation for pain and suffering. The responsibility of the perpetrators should not be concealed, it says in the recommendations to the round table. This concerns mainly ecclesiastical institutions, schools and sports clubs. There will not be a common fund. For victims of family abuse, the federal and state governments should cover the costs of assistance.

Followed the Bergmann suggestions
Victims whose civil claims for compensation are time-barred should receive supplementary assistance. However, this assistance system is to be limited in time. The aid should serve the rehabilitation of those affected. According to the working group's proposals, the costs of various services should be covered if they cannot be financed by the health insurance funds: for psychotherapeutic assistance, for trips to authorities or doctors, for activities in self-help groups, and for remedies and aids.

Furthermore, there are to be pilots to help those affected find the relevant authorities, doctors or therapists. The working group also proposes to eliminate deficits in the application of the Victim Compensation Act. With its recommendations, the working group largely follows the suggestions of Christine Bergmann (SPD), the independent commissioner for abuse appointed by the federal government.

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Christina Cherry
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