This week, the topic of abuse has once again dominated the headlines: Sexual assaults occurred at a youth retreat on the island of Ameland. Basically, however, children are nowhere abused as frequently as in the family environment. With serious consequences.
Sabrina* (13) could stand it no longer. "Uwe* often comes to bed with me and does disgusting things," she told her mother in tears. Three and a half years ago, the mother's boyfriend had moved in. He denied the sexual abuse. Sabrina's mother turned to the Bremen counseling center "Schattenriss" against sexual abuse of girls and later reported the ex-partner to the police.Nowhere are children abused as often as in the immediate family environment. According to statistics from the Federal Criminal Police Office, each year about 15.000 cases known. But experts estimate up to 300.000 cases of abuse in the close environment of the victims from. According to the State Institute for Early Education in Munich, sexual violence is suffered by minors from infancy onwards in all social classes by perpetrators of all ages."We first tried to stabilize Sabrina's mother in her situation," explains Ingrid Wedlich, a psychologist and counselor at Schattenriss, "because she has to be able to give her daughter support in everyday life." Sabrina was taken care of by another employee. Experience has shown that it is enormously important for the girls affected to have a contact person all to themselves at first.The consequences of abuse can be serious for the physical and especially for the emotional development of the child. The acts of violence often lead to nightmares, result in sleeping and concentration difficulties or anxiety states. According to findings of the German Society for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Neurology, around 60 percent of young people with borderline disorder, a severe personality disorder, report having been abused as a child.