Johannes-Wilhelm Rorig has been coordinating the handling of the abuse scandal for the federal government for a year now. In an interview with our site praises the Catholic Church, but also calls for further efforts.
Interviewer: A lot of expertise and experience has been gathered over the past two years. In the area of prevention and intervention, there are, after all, also comprehensive recommendations of the Round Table. What is your concern now?
Rorig: The recommendations of the Round Table must now be implemented, in the day care centers, in the parishes and in the schools. So that the protection for the children and young people in these institutions is improved.
Interviewer: How can girls and boys get the necessary and appropriate assistance?
Rorig: Then, when adults listen well and offer help. And help comes to children and young people first through counseling centers. Counseling centers do excellent work for children who have suffered sexual abuse, but also for their relatives. They are a really important anchor and a first help, also to suggest therapies later on.
Interviewer: What specifically is the second hearing of the federal government about??
Rorig: It is about improving the situation of the counseling centers. The counseling centers often have too few staff and are also not financially secure. And there is my demand that the states and municipalities take their political responsibility here and provide better resources for the positions. Another problem is that there are quite good specialized services in individual areas like the big cities, but we have huge deficits in rural areas. Children and young people with disabilities or migrant backgrounds also often do not find the right counseling services in their environment. There is a considerable need to catch up.
Interviewer: What does it look like in the space of the churches?
Rorig: The counseling centers provide very important counseling in schools and daycare centers. They are able to point out age-appropriate children to the dangers of sexual abuse. That works very well. The Catholic Church, for example, has shown a great willingness to do more to protect children and young people from sexualized violence. Proof of this is that Bishop Ackermann (the abuse commissioner of the German Bishops' Conference, the ed.) has concluded an agreement with me, according to which he has committed himself to improve the protection against sexual abuse. He also agreed that the Catholic Church should participate in local surveys to see how far prevention, the protection of children from sexualized violence, is already being applied. But it is now also a matter of ensuring that, for example, the professionals – the educators, teachers and priests – are also well trained so that they have important basic knowledge in dealing with children and parents.
Background: Johannes-Wilhelm Rorig said Tuesday (20.11.2012) invited to the second hearing "Dialogue on Child Abuse" on sexualized violence. Here, experts and those affected should talk about how to improve help for those affected and strengthen rights.
The interview was conducted by Monika Weib.