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Legal issues about violence against women!
Violence Protection Act
The Violence Protection Act is a legal basis for domestic violence or stalking. We would like to give you a brief insight into the legal possibilities for victims of violent acts, to protect themselves and to defend themselves.
The laws are often very complex and confusing and the legal language is very difficult to understand. Therefore, in any case it is useful to get legal advice and support.
Just drop to our chat or write us, we will be glad to answer your questions.
The perpetrator goes – The victim remains! The Violence Protection Act
The Violence Protection Act is the basis for violence against women. The “Law for the Improvement of the civil law protection at acts of violence and prosecue as well as the facilitation of the transfer of the marital home after the Separation” or the “Violence Protection Act” entered into force on 1 January 2002.
A perpetrator proposes or threatens his victim, or in the case of stalking, he persecute and harassed his victim … here, the Violence Protection Act protects the victims by civil law.
The special at this law is the principle: the perpetrator goes – the victim remains!
This principle offers special protection to victims of domestic violence because they can obtain by means of an urgent arrangement at court, that the common apartment can be assigned to them for a limited period or permanently for sole use. As a result, the victims are no longer forced to seek shelter, refuge or, if necessary, seek protection in a women´s refuge. The allocation of housing is particularly important when the well-being of children, living in the household, is jeopardized.
The assignment of the sole use of the dwelling is a legal protection order, which can be obtained from the competent district court against the perpetrator. Such a protection arrangement contains specific prohibitions which the perpetrator must observe, for example in the form of a prohibition of contact and / or approach ban, which means, it is not allowed for the perpetrator, to get in contact with the victim or to stay at any place, mentioned by the victim. As a rule, several of these measures are ordered by the court.
The well-known “banishing” from the apartment, which orders the police in “case of danger in default” finds their basis not as assumed, in the Violence Protection Act, but in the law of the police.
Where can you make an application?
You can apply for the order at the competent district court, personally or with the help of a lawyer. As a rule, proof is required that you have been the victim of a violent act. Testimonies, complainments or police protocols or an affidavit are helpful and necessary for this.
Since judicial proceedings usually take too long, for urgent cases there is a so-called “urgent protection arrangement”. In this case, a provisional regulation is decided, which is usually quicker and easier, because the victim has to make the facts “only” credible. In the normal procedure, however, the facts must be “proved”. Evidence and documentations are helpful in any case.
What happens, if someone violate against the protective order?
If the perpetrator violates against the protective order, a criminal offense under the Violence Protection Act exists and may be punished with a fine, or a term of imprisonment for up to one year.
The Violence Protection Act: http://bundesrecht.juris.de/gewschg/index.html
As the name implies “domestic violence” means all exercise of violence in a household. This includes not only violence in couple relationships but also violence against children, the violence of children against their parents and the violence between siblings.
As studies have shown in recent years, the most common manifestation of domestic violence is within the couple. In our further explanations we would like to refer primarily to this form. Couple relationships in which violence occurs, also covers heterosexual couples, same-sex, married, separated, and living couples.
There where usually a place of protection, security and security is, in these cases violence takes place in the “own four walls”. This has particular consequences for the victim, because there is no longer a place of retreat or protection, there is no sense of security, and a feeling arises, to be accessible to the perpetrator, without protection and without the environment.
Domestic violence is usually not a one-time experience. It is not a “mistake” or “an exception in a drunken state”, it is not a “bagatelle” and also “helpless reaction to a provocation”. None of these “excuses” or “declarations” often used by perpetrators justify violence against a close person.
Domestic violence is usually directed to get the power and control over the partner and the actions and the thinking. In doing so, the perpetrator usually uses his alleged physical and / or spiritual superiority to the partner to control them and demonstrate the power against them.
The ongoing domestic violence leads to a life under constant fear to the victims, because the victims do not know when the next unpredictable “tantrum” comes. This destroys the self-awareness of the victim and can ultimately lead to paralysis. Because of the feeling of fear and shame, the persons concerned do not trust other trusted persons or professionals. They give themselves into their situation and lead a life of fear, control and unpredictability.
How does domestic violence looks like?
Domestic violence expresses itself in:
- physical violence (for example beating, pushing, biting, chocking, throwing objects)
- psychological violence (for example insult, threat, prohibition, control, pursuit, deprivation of liberty, indignity, humiliation)
- sexual violence (for example rape, sexual assault, forced prostitution)
The forms of violence do not necessarily occur singly, they often can be in a mixed form.
What about the children?
Women who live in a relationship / marriage characterized by domestic violence often have children who become witnesses and involved persons. They are vulnerable to the situation, because they are in the same room or in an adjoining room, when the violence comes. They may even become victims of physical violence because they are on the mother’s arm or get a thrown object. They have to watch or listen to how one of her beloved parents is beaten, insulted or insulted.
Children see and hear how the mother subordinates themselves or tries to soothe the father. In addition, they see the bruises and hear, that their mother tell friends and acquaintances, that she had fallen on the stairs. The children are drawn into a great family secrecy, which they are not allowed to talk about. They are alone with their fears, worries and confused feelings.
Children are often overstrained by these very stressful situations and react in different ways to this traumatization. Some withdraw in themselfes, others take responsibility for the care and protection of the mother and siblings, other children become aggressive towards themselves and / or their environment. In addition, reactions such as anxiety, sleep disorders, and bed-wetting can occur.
Even if it is difficult to break free of the violence, who is often very long-lasting, the top priority should be the protection of the children and, of course, the own protection. Even if the perpetrator says that it does not happen again and he be sorry, experience has shown that the perpetrator always finds reasons and justifications for his violence – no matter what the victim does.
What can you do?
In the first step, you should call the police (110 in Germany) in an acute threat and report the perpetrator at the police. The police have the possibility, to forbid the perpetrator, to return to the apartment for a few days or a few weeks. The door keys get secured and kept by the police.
Within the Violence Protection Act, you also have the possibility, to apply for the sole transfer of the apartment at the local court (see also here).
This allows you, to think about whether you want to stay in the common flat, go to friends or relatives, or if necessary, go to a women’s shelter. You can also take your children with you (a list of women’s shelter can be found here ).
Avoid contact with the perpetrator, even if he is trying to talk to you and / or your children very often, put you under pressure. You can apply for a protection arrangement with the help of a legal adviser, which prohibits him from contacting you. For such a protection arrangement it is important to have certificates, witnesses or advertisements in order to prove to the court, that a threat puts on place from the perpetrator. .
Do not be afraid to talk about your situation with family, friends or even specialists, and do not remain alone with your fears and worries. There are people who understand you, who want to listen and help you.
If you do not know where you can find contact, you can write us an e-mail and we are looking for locally counselling centres .
Have courage, for you and your children !!!!
There are ways out of this situation and you also get help from the outside !!!!
You have a right to live a life without violence !!!!!
Persecute, telephone terror, harassment are terms, which are spontaneously associated with the term of stalking.
Stalking is mostly known today and does not only concern celebrities. Everyone can become a stalking victim! The beginning is often secretly because the victims are uncertain, whether it is stalking or perhaps its a stubborn admirer, ex-boyfriend and / or ex-husband, who can not handle with a rejection or separation. Many of the victims do not dare talk with someone about it, for fear of the perpetrator or from the concern of friends, family, etc. not to be taken seriously. The consequences of stalking are usually serious for the victims. Therefore it is useful, to confide to someone early enough and not to remain alone with the worries and fears and to recieve help and support.
There are many stalking victims, more than you think and often it is closer to you than you think. We would like to take a closer look at the topic stalking. No one needs to be ashamed of it.
We would like to point out that we always use masculine terms such as the stalker or the perpetrator, but both sexes are included.
What is stalking?
The term stalking comes from the english word “to stalk” which translates means: hunt, sneak up to, harass. In this act, a person is persecuted against their will, harassed, threatened, terrorized and enormously restricted in their way of life.
We have listed some examples of actions of a stalker: :
- Permanent annoying by telephone calls, SMS, messages on the answering machine, e-mails
- Letters, flowers, gifts as a “declarations of love”
- Pursue and lurcking
- Insults, defamation
- Threats, coercion
In dramatic cases there may be physical violence, even killing.
Why does someone do this?
The reasons for stalking are quite different. But usually it is about power, control, love madness, desire to relationship. The Stalker tries stubbornly and persistently to get in contact with the victim, against their will, because he feels rejected, unfairly treated, not understood or not seen.
The problem is, inter alia, that good persuasion and well-intentioned conversations and understanding on the part of the victim, in the few cases, leads to an insight of the perpetrator. These attempts, to return to normal everyday life without anxiety, threats, harassment and terror, can lead to a kind of confirmation of the stalker in his actions or where appropriate, to his annoyance. This can turn leads to further actions, partly in a pronounced form.
Who is doing this?
In the most common cases, the perpetrators come from former relationships or marriages because their relationship request was rejected or the relationship ended. The perpetrators can also come from other relationships, for example, from the circle of acquaintances / friends, the work environment, the neighborhood. Professional groups with clients or client contact can also become victims of stalking.
Such a situation is for the persons concerned very onerous. They are worried about their own safety, the safety of their family and to their jobs, because these are not seldom also affected by the situation. .
The victims withdraw increasingly from their environment. They are afraid to go outside alone, suffer from sleep disorders and nightmares, have a very unsettled and anxious effect on their environment. The psychological burden is for the victims quite large and many feel helpless and powerless towards the perpetrators.
They often not dare to talk to someone, because of their worries, not to be understood or not to be taken seriously. They are hoping, that the stalker would stop some day by himself. Sometimes these situations can extend over weeks, months or even years.
What can you do?
You can defend yourself and set clear limits, but without getting into contact with the stalker.
Make the stalker unmistakably clear, that you do not want contact with him any more. You should not answer or receive any letters, SMS, messages on the answering machine or any kind of gifts from the stalker. Ask your familiy or friends to accompany you when you are leaving the apartment, in case the stalker is waiting for you in the street, trying to get in touch with you. If you are traveling by car and you feel, that he is following you, go to the nearest police station.
In case of acute threat …
…alert the police immediately about the emergency call (110 in Germany)
In principle, it is advisable to fight off against the stalker as quickly as possible, because rapid action, for example the report at the police, can lead the stalker put off from further harassment. If the Stalker is known, you can apply for an interim injunction / protection order under the Violence Protection Act (see legal possibilities – civil law)
Tell friends, family, neighborhood, employers, colleagues, etc. about your situation to make sure that no information about you is shared, but also to get help and support.
Legal possibilities based on the Violence Protection Act
There are civil law and criminal law possibilities to fight off against a stalker. It should be mentioned that the term stalking is not used in the law language, in these contexts they use the term of persecution.
1. Civil law (Violence Protection Act)
2. Criminal law
Since 2007, the persecution has been a criminal offense under Section § 238 of the Criminal Code (http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/stgb/__238.html). You can report an offence at the police, the courts or the prosecutor’s office. In contrast to the decree of a protective order, based on the Violence Protection Act, is the breach against the order by the perpetrator, punishable. At the criminal complaint to § 238 Criminal Code, the persecution per se is a criminal offense and is punished accordingly. Significant are sufficient evidences against the perpetrator, that means witnesses, documentation, attestations, mails, SMS, etc..
In connection with stalking there are other acts, which also fulfill a criminal offense and can be displayed. These includes:
- Insult § 158 StGB (Criminal Code)
- Libel § 186 StGB
- Bodily injury § 223 StGB
- Coercion § 240 StGB
- Threat § 241 StGB
Stalking can affect anyone. Therefore it is important, that you entrust yourself to your friends, family or acquaintances and ask them for assistance, especially if you are going to the police or the court, and you want to fight off against the perpetrator in civil or criminal law.
You have to expect to get many questions, including intimate and personal questions, you have to show the evidences which you have collected. All these you have to do at strangers, where, shame, disappointment and fear are added, in addition to the already difficult situation.
When you have overcome this difficult step, the path is free for a new, quieter life without fear of persecution and psychoterror. So just courage. There are people who understand you, listen to you and help you. .
Violence traps in the Internet – What is Cybergrooming?
Most perpetrators usually follow a pattern. The contact is set up at the beginning. Different messages are sent to various different chat members. As soon as a chat user, a potential victim, enters on it, personal messages are sent. This creates a trust base. The next level is the announcement of private contact opportunities like email address and handynummer or address. It may even be, that a change to another chat is suggested. Chats are particularly interesting for perpetrator when they are not monitored. .
As can be seen from the term, in this form of violence physical violence is used to injure or even kill another person. These includes kicks, punches or an beating up with an aid like a baseball bat.
At this form of violence, pain become added to the victim which are usually visible through bruises, cuts, laceration, etc.. Physical violence can not only leave visible traces, it can also have psychological consequences.
… or emotional violence. This form of violence is predominantly verbal. The victim will be put under pressure throug the insult or the threat.
Mobbing, discrimination and stalking are part of the psychological violence and can cause serious psychological consequences like fears at the victims.
The peculiarity of the psychic violence is on the one hand that it is more difficult to see, in contrast to physical violence and on the other hand it is more difficult to prove. Emotional violence can also be associated with a physical exercise of violence.
… or sexualized violence is a form of physical and psychological violence. This includes all sexual actions imposed to another person. Sexual violence includes sexual harassment, sexual abuse, rape.
The traumatized victims are seriously injured in their mental and physical personality and often suffer from physical as well as psychosomatic consequences like insomnia, depression, suicidal ideation.
The experience of sexual assault is usually filled with shame, disgust, fear and a feeling of powerlessness which affects the life long and sustainably. For this reason, it is difficult for the victims to talk about it and to look for help and support.
Ritual violence is a form of violence that is not so well-known. It happens in sects, cults or organized groups. These include for example Satanism, Exorcism but also Childpornography.
The perpetrators pursue the target of absolute dominance and the target to be able to determine the actions and the live of their victims. The victims should be made submissive by physical, psychological and sexual violence, usually with the help of drugs and alcohol.
Interesting links on the topic
Helptelephone | Violence against women
Tel.: 08000 116016
Help for girls
Help for women
www.frauen-info-netz.de (Autonome Frauenhäuser in NRW)
Informations and help
Informations for professionals
Proposals from our visitors