Immediate help after rape: Victims are not alone

Immediate help after rape: Victims are not alone

Many women* and girls experience sexual violence in Germany. Those who need help after being raped are not left alone. Initiatives such as “Immediate Aid after Rape” support victims with medical care.

Around every seventh woman in Germany has experienced sexualised violence since the age of 16. These are only the officially recorded data, the number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher. Criminological studies show that not even every 15th offense is reported to the police. The aid organization Weißer Ring refers to this. But those who become victims of rape are not alone.

“After being raped, women and girls need quick and unbureaucratic access to medical care – without having to report it to the police.” This goal drives the managing director Angela Wagner from the counseling center Frauennotruf Frankfurt. Ten years ago, the model project “Immediate medical aid after rape” began there, to which 36 hospitals nationwide have now joined. The organization reports that around 1,100 women were cared for during this period.

Medical help after a rape

Together with medical specialists and representatives of the police, judiciary and forensic medicine, the group has developed common standards on how to help after a rape. Affected persons can register for an examination without decide to secure findings, or for an examination with confidential forensics.

Evidence is recorded that can help with a possible report, whether it is made immediately or later. In this case, the initiative advises, if it is possible for those affected, not to change their clothes and not to take a shower. This can result in criminally relevant evidence being destroyed. The medical staff may not inform the police without their consent and is bound by medical confidentiality. The initiative writes: “No one may send you away and no one may urge you to have evidence secured or to file a complaint.”

The earlier those affected get to the emergency room, the better. However, medical care is still possible days later. Family members or relatives may accompany those affected. If desired, the examination can also be carried out by a female doctor if the hospital can make this possible.

In addition to immediate help after rape, women and others affected by sexual violence can seek help from numerous other organizations, such as the Weißer Ring, Terre des Femmes or Frauen gegen Demokratie eV. Anyone who does not want to or cannot appear in person can, for example, seek help anonymously and free of charge via the Weisser Ring victim hotline. The number can be reached between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily on 116 006.

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Source: Stern

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