Increase in domestic violence in 2018, report says

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According to a report from the Federal Criminal Police, the number of reported acts of violence against women by their partner or ex-partner has increased slightly in 2018. Family Minister Giffey called the figures “alarming”.

Last year 122 women in Germany were killed by their partner or ex-partner. In total, more than 114,000 women were victims of domestic violence, threats or coercion by their husbands, partners or ex-partners. This is shown in an evaluation by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) on the subject of partnership violence, which Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey intends to present today in Berlin on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The news agency dpa had quoted extracts from the evaluation beforehand.

Giffey called the figures “alarming”. Overall, one could see that the willingness to report such cases had increased. “We attribute this to the fact that we actively raise awareness. Our help line ‘Violence against women’ also contributes to this development,” said Giffey.

A total of 140,755 cases of intimate partner violence had been registered. Women were the victims in 81 percent of the cases. Giffey announced a new initiative against domestic violence. According to this, the number of women’s shelters is to increase. Nationwide there are about 350 women’s shelters, i.e. shelters for women affected by domestic violence. Giffey spoke out in favour of introducing a legal right for women to get a place in a shelter. “This will be a topic for the future,” the SPD politician said. At the moment, however, there are not enough places. “Everyone needs to get involved so that we can actually create a legal claim in the medium term.

The trend of recent years continues

Domestic violence does not only affect women: Last year, around 26,000 men were threatened, coerced or attacked by their partners or ex-partners. The trend of recent years with an increase in the number of cases in this field of crime is thus continuing.

However, it remains unclear to what extent this is an actual increase in the number of cases or to what extent a change in the reporting behaviour of those affected may play a role. All cases of attempted and completed violence between partners and ex-partners that were reported were taken into account for the evaluation: Murder and manslaughter, bodily harm, rape, sexual assault, threats, stalking, coercion, deprivation of liberty, procuring and forced prostitution. As only the reported acts can be counted, a high number of unreported cases is assumed.

According to earlier information from Giffey, only every fifth victim seeks help at all. The Federal Family Ministry refered to so-called dark field studies according to which every third woman in Germany experiences violence at least once in her life.

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