From practical help to “victim recovery work”

From practical help to 'victim recovery work'

Matthias Katsch © Julia Steinbrecht (KNA)

It's about travel reimbursement, safe communication – but also therapy and counseling: abuse expert Matthias Katsch wants more of it from the church. He also has greater expectations of politics.

The self-help work of those affected by acts of abuse must be strengthened, according to Matthias Katsch, spokesman for the "Eckiger Tisch" victims' initiative. Bodies such as victim advisory boards are not enough if those should become "actors of their fate," he writes in a guest article in the "Zeit" supplement "Christ Welt" (Thursday). "This is necessary so that they can make an appropriate contribution in Aufarbeitungskommissionen, in advisory boards and research projects."

The church "could and would have to make a substantial contribution" so that corresponding groups and associations could organize themselves, demands Katsch. The "support for self-organization, self-help, exchange and networking" would be about practical things such as travel reimbursement, but also, for example, secure communications on the Internet.

Katsch: "Victim recovery work" makes sense

In the expert's view, it would make sense to set up a "victims' recovery center" [Can. "Just as the Catholic Church recently founded an Institute for Reappraisal as a place of competence for the topic, there is a need for such an institution, which provides affected persons with the best possible therapy and counseling, which bundles knowledge, offers further training for therapists and counselors, creates spaces where victims do not have to explain themselves for a long time in order to find support. And the specifics of sexual violence in the context of faith and religion must be taken into account." Such an institution could "also radiate internationally and set an example," Katsch said.

Politics had to take on a more moderating role. It was intended to "provide a framework for the different expectations and perceptions of appropriate compensation for institutional failures in the lives of victims," Katsch writes.

Those affected were waiting for a concrete implementation of those recommendations that the bishops had presented a year ago. If politics and the church found solutions together, they could be "exemplary and contribute to the improvement of the social regulatory systems".

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Christina Cherry
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