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You may address the police to initiate criminal prosecution of a relevant act that may qualify as sexual violence. Also, most cities will offer an emergency telephone number for children that will offer immediate assistance in a fully anonymous manner that is tailored to the specific situation at hand. These may be found online by searching for terms such as “Notfalltelefon”, ”Krisentelefon” or “Jugendnottelefon” and by adding the local city.
Furthermore, you may address the local youth welfare office (Jugendamt) for immediate assistance. Typically, police will also be happy to make the connection and offer support. The local youth welfare office provides for immediate shelter (Inobhutnahme) that is available 24/7 in cases of emergency pursuant to Sec. 42 8th German Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch). This will provide the affected child with support on the spot and possible for the following days. If such is sought by the child, the parents will need to be informed accordingly. If they agree to the temporary immediate shelter, the child may stay, if not, the youth shelter will contact the local family court for immediate assistance and decision.
Also, the local family courts have the discretion to intervene in cases that merit immediate assistance for the well-being of a minor. Without a formal application, any adult may address the family court to seek assistance (Sec. 1666 German Civil Code) for the affected child. These could be trusted individuals such as family members, teachers, neighbors, etc.
The phone number to reach the police in Germany is 110.
Yes, a minor has the right to report a crime or offense to the police.
In court proceedings, the court is obligated to provide a minor with a person that serves as an advisor (Verfahrensbeistand) if there is no or no sufficient representation by an attorney. It is highly advisable to contact the local youth welfare office to receive individual support.
Removal from the family is considered a measure of ultima ratio and typically only applied under very severe circumstances. As outlined above, assistance will typically start by making contact with the local youth welfare office, which will guide the child and potentially the parents in difficult situations. The offering of merely temporary immediate shelter only serves to prevent imminent harm and thus typically does not result in permanent removal. However, such permanent removal may be sought before the local family court, which will assess each case individually and decide at its discretion, typically involving expert evidence from psychologists or trained professionals.
Again, many of the provisions outlined above capture any form of violence also against children and make it a criminal offense. However, the German legislator has refined the criminal law in order to better protect children and included statutory offenses capturing the particular harm of violence against children.
The following offenses cater particularly to protecting children:
Sec. 174 German Criminal Code (Sexual Abuse of Persons in One’s Charge)
Sec. 176 German Criminal Code (Sexual Abuse of Children)
Sec. 176a German Criminal Code (Aggravated Sexual Abuse of Children)
Sec. 182 German Criminal Code (Sexual Abuse of Juveniles)
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