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Victims' rights - by country

Germany

Content provided by:
Germany

Federal Ministry of Justice

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth

Weißer Ring (White Ring)

Working Group of Victim Support in Germany

Federal Ministry of Justice

The Federal Ministry of Justice provides victims of crime with different kinds of information and its other activities contribute to the better protection of their rights.

The Federal Ministry of Justice is primarily responsible for drafting legislation. Within that framework it, for instance, elaborates draft laws that protect the rights of victims in the context of criminal proceedings.

  • The Directorate-General R 'Judicial System' is responsible for the protection of victims' rights and the interests of victims in criminal proceedings.
  • The Directorate-General II 'Criminal Law' includes the Juvenile Criminal Law, the Crime Prevention and the Victim-Offender Mediation Departments.
  • The Directorate-General I 'Civil Law' drafts laws in the field of civil law and is, among other things, responsible for the Protection Against Violence Act.
  • The Federal Ministry of Justice also provides information, for example the leaflet Opferfibel ("Opferfibel - Rechtswegweiser für Opfer einer Straftat"; Primer for Victims - A Guide to the Law for Victims of Crime), which is written in simple language and explains the legal situation of victims of crime and gives advice, the brochure entitled "Ich habe Rechte" (I have Rights), which is aimed at young people who have become victims of crime, and by disseminating brochures on victim-offender mediation and the Protection Against Violence Act. These brochures are all available for download on the Federal Ministry of Justice's website.

CONTACT:

Website: https://www.bmjv.de/EN/Home/home_node.html

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is responsible for legislation in the field of the law of social compensation, which includes the law on compensation for the victims of violent crime.

The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is responsible for legislation in regard to the law of victim compensation, among other things. It has published a brochure entitled "Hilfe für Opfer von Gewalttaten" (Help for Victims of Violent Crime), which is available for download and can also be ordered from the following address: info@bmas.bund.de

Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth is responsible for the protection of women and children against violence.

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth is active in the field of the protection of children and women.

Directorate-General 4 (Gender Equality, Equal Opportunities) deals with general and specific issues regarding the combating of violence against women, and cooperates with the Federation, the Länder, local authorities and non-governmental organisations on the implementation of the German Government's Action Plan II on Combating Violence Against Women. In addition, it chairs the two Federal-Länder Working Groups "Trafficking in Women" and "Domestic Violence". The Action Plan II, diverse information and studies on the issue of violence are available for download on the website of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Directorate-General 5 (Children and Youth) is responsible for the protection of children and youth. It is thus responsible for the Child and Youth Services Act (Social Code Book VIII), which contains regulations governing the promotion and development of children and youth and for the protection of their best interests by means of a wide range of services.

In particular, this Directorate-General is also active in boosting prevention and victim protection of children and youth.

  • Help is available on a website set up as part of a prevention campaign launched by the Ministry (in German). The page has a link to a database of advice centres across the whole of Germany.
  • The guide "Mutig fragen - besonnen handeln" (Daring Questions - Prudent Action) contains advice and information on sexual violence against girls and boys specifically for parents. It is available for download on the Ministry's website (in German)
  • Information on child and youth protection is available on the Ministry's website (in German).

CONTACT:

https://www.bmfsfj.de/

Weißer Ring (White Ring)

The White Ring is a non-profit organisation providing services to victims in and outside of courts that is active not only on a local level, but also all over Germany. It has 420 branches with around 3000 people working on a voluntary, unpaid basis.

The White Ring

  • offers advice to victims
  • provides help in dealing with authorities and courts
  • facilitates access to free first consultations with a lawyer of the victim’s own choice
  • facilitates access to free first medical/psychological consultations if the victim is suffering from stress following a crime
  • accompanies victims to court
  • offers financial support
  • works in lobbying and crime prevention
  • implements projects for victim compensation and victim-offender mediation

CONTACT:

Website: https://weisser-ring.de/

Working Group of Victim Support in Germany

The Working Group of Victim Support in Germany is a non-profit organisation founded in 1988 as a union of various victim support organisations in Germany working with social workers.

The Working Group of Victim Support in Germany

  • focuses on providing the following advice and support to the victims of crime through its regional member organisations:
    • advisory services for victims
    • help in dealing with authorities
    • psychological crisis intervention and arranging for medical treatment and therapies
    • legal advice or arranging for legal advice
    • accompanying victims to the police, authorities and courts
    • carrying out or arranging victim-offender mediation
  • contributes to an exchange of information and experience as well as cooperation with other German and international (especially European) organisations active in the field of victim support

CONTACT:

Website: https://www.opferhilfen.de/

Last update: 13/04/2018

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

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