Sexual abuse

In German Sexualstrafrecht different offenses are standardized. It is legally anchored in the Section 13 of Criminal Code (short: StGB). The legal property that is protected first is that of individual sexual self-determination. The section in the Criminal Code is therefore also entitled "Offenses against sexual self-determination".

In connection with sexual criminal law, the term "comes up" again and again sexual abuse. But what is the definition of this term? What are the different forms of sexual abuse known by the law? We have answered these and other questions for you in the following guide.

As well as the respective criminal sanctions are designed, which provide for the individual facts and what sexual abuse consequences is also the subject of the guide.

Sexual abuse: definition of the term

The question "What is sexual abuse?" Should be clarified in advance

The definition says that below sexual acts to understand people who either underage are or grown up and at the same time incapable of resistance, for example due to illness, disability or the like.

A prerequisite for the fulfillment of the respective fact is usually a lack of consent. Exceptionally, this is not important for sexual contacts with people who are in a special treatment and care relationship, as is the case with psychotherapy, for example.

In such constellations, sexual contact itself is declared consent qualify as sexual abuse.

Which criminal offenses does the StGB know?

Regarding sexual abuse, the Criminal Code knows different facts, which we will explain to you in more detail below.

The law is enshrined in the paragraphs 174 to 176 b as in Section 179 of the Criminal Code various offenses, all under the preamble sexual abuse. These are in detail

  • Sexual abuse of wards (§ 174 StGB)
  • Sexual abuse of prisoners, official custody or sick and needy people in institutions (§ 174 a StGB)
  • Sexual abuse using one official position (§ 14 b StGB)
  • Sexual abuse using a counseling, treatment or care relationship (§ 174 c StGB)
  • Sexual abuse of children (§ 176 StGB)
  • Severe sexual abuse of children (§ 176 a StGB)
  • Sexual abuse of children with death (§ 176 b StGB)
  • Sexual abuse resistance incompetent Persons (§ 179 StGB)

Sexual abuse of those under protection

In § 174 StGB is first of all sexual abuse of those under protection regulated. After that, whoever is punishable

  • a person under 16 years, which is entrusted to him for upbringing, training or in lifestyle,
  • a person under 18 years, which is entrusted to him for the upbringing, training or is subordinate in the conduct of life or in the context of an employment or employment relationship or
  • a person under 18 years, which is physical or legal descendant is (or that of the spouse, partner or similar)

Sexually abused means, sexual acts on the person make or by the person per se to be carried out.

The sentence sees a prison sentence of three months to five years in front.

Sexual abuse of prisoners, the custody of the authorities or the sick and those in need of help in institutions

In § 174 a StGB sexual abuse of persons who are in a Penitentiary in captivity located or on official order kept become and the perpetrator for education, education, Supervision or care are entrusted. Sexual abuse is punished within this three months to five years Imprisonment itself.

Sexual abuse using an official position

Section 174 b of the Criminal Code defines the criminal offense of sexual abuse under Exploitation of an official position. What is meant is an official who is called to participate in criminal proceedings. There is also a threat here imprisonment of three months to five years.

Sexual abuse through the use of a counseling, treatment or care relationship

According to Section 174 c of the German Criminal Code, anyone who sexually abuses a person who is wronged because of intellectual or mental illness or disability is entrusted. This also includes addictions.

The facts thus include therapists and psychologists or psychiatrists, among others. Here too the sentence is a prison sentence of three months to five years.

Child sexual abuse

In § 176 paragraph 1 StGB is more sexual child abuse punished. Anyone who has sexual acts on a People under the age of 14 carries out or has carried out on himself, faces imprisonment six months to ten years.

Sexual abuse is also within the § 176 StGB by teenagers punished.

The penalties this standard is therefore clear higher than with the aforementioned offenses. After all, sexual abuse of a child can have devastating consequences. The offender uses his Makes– respectively. position of authority to meet his own needs. It can be assumed that children under 14 years of age are unable to agree at all.

According to Section 176 Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code, anyone who has committed sexual activity is also punishable in front of a child or a child pornographic images or representations shows. Such behavior is punished with a prison sentence of three months to five years sanctioned.

Severe sexual abuse of children

Furthermore, the basic fact of child abuse according to § 176 StGB in § 176 a StGB is determined by certain circumstances as crime (severe sexual abuse of children) qualified. A crime always has one minimum sentence of one year imprisonment. Everything that is less than the sentence is in legal jargon as offense designated.

The circumstances that are provided for in § 176 a StGB

  • reoffending
  • Sexual intercourse and acts similar to sex with a child by one Person over 18 years
  • a Community committing a crime
  • concrete Danger the health or development of the child
  • Abuse with the intent of distribution pornographic content
  • severe abuse with life hazard

The law sees a penalty in the latter variant of the offense not under five years in prison in front. For repeat offenses, a sentence is not imposed for less than a year in prison and the rest of the variants of the law do not provide for a sentence two years imprisonment in front. Within Section 176a of the Criminal Code, the law against perpetrators is therefore even stricter.

Sexual abuse of fatal children

Section 176 b of the Criminal Code stipulates a further variant of the offense that unites the sexual abuse of a child – as well as rape crime qualified. Unless the perpetrator is the child’s sexual abuse death he is punished either with life imprisonment or with imprisonment not less than ten years. Again, the sentence is due to Severity of fact again significantly increased compared to the other offenses.

Sexual abuse of incapable people

According to Section 179 of the Criminal Code, anyone who sexually abuses a person who either:

  • because of a intellectual or mental Illness or disability or
  • by virtue of physical circumstances

is unable, resistance afford to.

The act is punished with a prison sentence of six months to ten years punished.

In paragraph 5, the offense qualifies the act as a crime and punishes offenders with a prison sentence not under two years, if the culprit

  • with the victim sexual intercourse takes
  • the fact communal is committed or
  • the perpetrator puts the victim at risk from an act serious damage to health or significant damage to physical or mental development.

The consequences: what causes sexual abuse in children

In children – as well as in adults – the consequences of sexual abuse differ in nature and configuration. As a rule, actions, especially those within the family, lead to longer-term actions confusion on a cognitive, emotional and sexual level.

It is also often difficult to understand what is happening when a sexually inexperienced child is abused emotionally how rational classify meaningfully, especially if the perpetrators deny the actions.

Most of the time, children are forced to do what they have done conceal. This in turn means that children cannot talk to anyone about the actions. Therefore, they often feel helpless and exposed to the perpetrator without protection, which is one basic vibration their trust can bring about. This is especially true if the abuse has been committed by a family member and thus by a confidant.

This is usually accompanied by feelings of shame, worthlessness and guilt.

Other symptoms can also be:

  • anxiety
  • disturbed relationship with your own feelings
  • compulsive behavior
  • depressions
  • Self-loathing and / or self-harm
  • aggressiveness
  • regressive behavior (early childhood behaviors, wetting, clinging, etc.)
  • Rejection of gender role and / or body
  • disturbed social behavior (contact disorders)
  • disturbed sexuality

Psychosomatic symptoms can also be:

  • Headache migraine
  • Skin diseases and allergies
  • Choking attacks / asthma
  • Impairment of concentration and performance
  • Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)
  • sleep disorders

Physical injuries can be:

  • Injuries in the intimate and / or anal area
  • bone fractures
  • urinary Tract Infections
  • STDs
  • Bruises, hematomas, abrasions on the skin
  • pregnancies
  • Inflammation and swelling

Sexual abuse: help should definitely be sought

Victims of sexual abuse should be urgent Help take advantage of. The consequences without support processing can often not be tackled alone at all. There are numerous support facilities, counseling centers and psychological care facilities that focus on the help and support of victims of abuse specialized are.

Sexual abuse: A lawyer can assist and advise you in a lawsuit.

Victims of sexual offenses such as sexual abuse, rape or the like are often inhibited from reporting their tormentors. Not infrequently, they fear the consequences that the perpetrators are threatening them with. And yet sexual abuse should definitely be used display to be brought.

Only in this way is there a chance that lawsuits will be brought, perpetrators will be punished and prevented from committing further crimes. After all, there is one serious crime in the room.

It can also be beneficial to become familiar with one lawyer get advice. If necessary, in the way of a legal action also Claims for damages be enforced.

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Elisabeth N. says

Hello, I was sexually abused by my brother for a whole year at the age of 11 for so many years that I still have red spots on my upper arms that indicate this. My brother is very big and was a carpenter apprentice and even had a girlfriend. I immediately had to take out my tonsils, it was found that I was no longer a virgin and at 16 the appendectomy came out, nerves were cut and I survived peritonitis. After that, countless operations were added. I am now over 50 years old, live in the United States with my husband, and am still suffering from the aftermath of this crime because my family has also let me down. Can i do this today still be registered in the criminal record, published because he is so arrogant and has no regrets and will get compensation? Thanks for your help!

Hello Elisabeth N.,

we cannot judge whether the facts have expired. We therefore recommend that you contact a lawyer and discuss the further procedure with them. This can also inform you about the chances of success.

Your team from

Nowhere can I find anything concrete on the subject of “Relationship with mentally disabled people with protective protection”.

My daughter lives in a disabled facility. There, an employee took advantage of my daughter’s trust in an “amicable relationship”. It’s about a relationship, not abuse in the sense of violence. My daughter is easy to influence. I see the whole thing as an advantage. It is a crime?

A one night stand is also a sexual abuse?


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Christina Cherry
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