Of course, child rights. In some of these fields, a great deal has already been made for better protection against sexualized violence and above all, improved help and support for victims and survivors. Nevertheless, further action is still required.
Child Protection in Germany
Child and youth welfare services in Germany are under the constitution to protect girls and boys from danger. On the ground in towns and municipalities, the youth welfare offices administer this “protection mandate”. In a case of negligent or physical violence against children or through a child or a child, the child or child will be deprived of his / her benefit adolescents.
Victims and survivors, their relatives, as well as experts receive advice and support in cases of sexual violence against children and adolescents at specialized counseling centers. Youth welfare offices are thus providing appropriate counseling services by experts who are dealing with sexual violence or who can provide a referral to a local counseling center.
Children and adolescents have rights. In contrast to needs, which are subjective and dependent on the situation, rights are objective and independent of individual situations. The so-called child rights are divided into three groups:
- the right to protection
- the right to be supported
- the right to participate.
The right to protection includes sexual abuse and sexual violence. This protection should be ensured by national and international regulations. The most important treaty at international level is the Universal Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Age appropriate English links to the subject of child rights
- Children’s page of the EU Commission
https://ec.europa.eu/0-18/wrc index en.jsp? main = true&init.Lang = EN
Anyone who forces a child into sexual acts, demands that they act as a sexual actor persons under 14 years of age. They can not legally consent to sexual acts because their capacity for sexual self-determination is still developing.
The German law governing sexual rights recognises three different of consent:
- below 14 years of age
- below 16 years of age
- below 18 years of age.
The sexuality of adolescents is subject to state protection, for example if there is a relationship of custodial care for those under 16 years of age, as well as exists between parents and children, at school or during vocational training. 18 years of age, for example, with one’s own children, if the status of custodial care is exploited or if it is a high degree of dependency.
Under § 176 of the German penal code (StGB), sexual abuse of children is any sexual act which is performed, by or in front of a child. Even the attempt at sexual contact with a child is punishable by law. Alleged consent by children, which is used by those accused, is legally invalid.
The threat of punishment thus applies to sexual acts which do not assume any direct physical or skin contact. Therefore, anyone who performs a sexual act on himself or someone else in front of a child is liable to prosecution. This also applies if girls or boys watch sex scenes via video stream.
Reforms in Recent Years
In 2013, the Federal Government stipulated in the Law on Strengthen the Rights of Victims of Sexual Abuse (StORMG), among other things, the general avoidance of the unnecessary huge strain on , for example, multiple interviews. The law provides impetus for the use of video recordings of judicial interviews in the actual trial. In addition, the law extends the rights of victims and survivors of sexual abuse. Victims of sexualised violence can therefore be dismissed as having no or no reason to pay. Furthermore, the right to information has been reduced. In 2015, the legal time limit for reporting crimes was extended and the criminal-law protection of wards expanded. The criminal liability of so-called posing pictures In the same year, the 3rd Victim Reform Law above all strengthened the right to information on victims of crime in criminal proceedings and the right to psychosocial support in these to be anchored in law.
Victims Compensation Law (OEG)
Persons who have suffered as a result of a violent crime can receive benefits under the Victims Compensation Law. The premise for a claim is that a person suffers from health problems as a result of an unlawful attack committed intentionally or in the legitimate and lawful defense thereof, e.g. in the context of child sexual abuse.
The catalog of services includes, for example:
- curative and medical treatment (including psychotherapy),
- Pension benefits (income of the level of impairment and where applicable, income),
- welfare benefits, if necessary in the case of specific assistance in individual cases (for example, benefits permitting participation in professional life, for care and homecare, and as a subsistence supplement),
- rehabilitation measures (for example, stay at a spa).
Damage to property and pecuniary loss is not reimbursed under the Victims Compensation Law.
Financial support is therefore provided by the funds “Sexual Abuse in the Family Environment” and the “Additional Help System in the Institutional Sector”, as well as the “Recognition and Assistance Foundation”. Information on these funds can be found here.
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