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Germany Sees Sharp Rise in Domestic Abuse Cases

The number of domestic abuse cases reported to police in Germany rose dramatically last year. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser had promised swift and decisive action against perpetrators.

The number of recorded domestic violence cases for 2022 soared compared with the previous year, German police revealed on Tuesday.

According to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), there were 8.5% more victims compared with the previous year — the number rising to 240,547.

While the number of crimes reported to police has shown an almost continuous rise over the past five years, officials say many crimes still go unreported out of fear or shame on the part of victims.

How the figures break down

About two-thirds of victims were in cases between intimate partners which rose by 9.4%. About 80% of victims were women with some 78% of perpetrators being men. In 40% of cases, the abuse was committed by an ex-partner while in 60% it was a current one.

In other domestic abuse cases, the victims were most likely to be children. In some 37% of cases, the victims were children or grandchildren of the perpetrator with another 18% being other relatives such as nieces or nephews. 

Some half of assaults resulted in physical injuries, with about 12% constituting serious bodily harm. Some 5% of assaults were cases of sexual abuse. 

The number of rape, sexual coercion, and sexual assault cases also saw a sharp rise. 

There were 702 victims of homicide or attempted homicide through domestic abuse, 248 of whom were male and 454 female. Of these, 239 actually died (58 males and 181 females). In total, 133 women and 19 men were killed by their partners or ex-partners in 2022.

Breaking the silence

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser presented the latest figures alongside Family Minister Lisa Paus and BKA President Holger Münch. She said victims must be encouraged to come forward.

“Violence doesn’t just start with beatings or abuse, it’s also about stalking and psychological terror. We want to strengthen those affected and encourage them to report their crimes,” said Faeser. “This is the only way that more perpetrators can be held criminally responsible. We have to help to break the silence.”

Paus added that it was important that victims of abuse should be able to find safe places of refuge and sources of competent advice no matter where they lived in Germany. 

While you’re here: Every Tuesday, DW editors round up what is happening in German politics and society. You can sign up here for the weekly email newsletter Berlin Briefing. 

Source : DW

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