Crime: BKA: Almost 17,200 children were victims of sexual violence in 2022

In 2022, the police in Germany recorded almost 17,200 children under the age of 14 as victims of sexual violence.

Crime: BKA: Almost 17,200 children were victims of sexual violence in 2022

In 2022, the police in Germany recorded almost 17,200 children under the age of 14 as victims of sexual violence. In almost one in seven cases, the victims were even younger than six years old, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in Wiesbaden.

In more than half of the cases, the victim and suspect knew each other, for example because they were related or were friends in some way. In addition, 1,211 young people between the ages of 14 and 17 were counted as victims of sexual violence.

In total, the police investigated around 15,500 cases in which the victims were younger than 14 years old. This number is roughly at the level of 2021 (0.1 percent). Around a quarter of the crimes in 2022 occurred in North Rhine-Westphalia alone, where some larger cases of abuse were uncovered. The BKA cited the investigation complexes in Lügde, Bergisch Gladbach and Münster as examples.

Increase in child pornography

More cases were recorded in 2022 in investigations into the distribution, acquisition and possession of so-called child and youth pornographic content. This number rose by 7.5 percent compared to the previous year to around 42,100 cases.

As a reason for the increase, the BKA pointed, among other things, to increased information from the US organization National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) as well as "the sharp increase, often careless dissemination of such representations by children and young people via social media".

Faeser: “No perpetrator should feel safe”

The BKA published for the first time a situation report "Sexual crimes to the detriment of children and young people", in which the known cases of sexual abuse of children and young people are registered. The BKA assumes that the level of crime will be much higher. The number of cases uncovered depends, among other things, on how frequently they are reported and how intensively the police are active in this area.

“The federal situation report clearly shows the appalling extent of sexual violence against children and young people,” said Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD). "We must use and optimize all the means of the rule of law to better protect young people. No perpetrator should feel safe and no victim should be left without help." BKA President Holger Münch said that the new situation report should help to develop tailor-made control and prevention strategies.

Federal Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus made similar comments. The facts are difficult to bear, the Green politician told the dpa. "At the same time, they show: We need strong structures that are committed to protecting children and young people from sexual violence and exploitation." Therefore, she will place the Office of the Independent Commissioner for Questions of Child Sexual Abuse on a legal basis. “In addition, we will be launching a broad awareness campaign in the next few weeks,” she said.

NEXT NEWS