Violence against women: Weißer Ring calls for more protection for women affected

The new federal chairman of the White Ring, Patrick Liesching, sees a clear need to catch up when it comes to protecting women from violent partners and ex-partners in Germany.

Violence against women: Weißer Ring calls for more protection for women affected

The new federal chairman of the White Ring, Patrick Liesching, sees a clear need to catch up when it comes to protecting women from violent partners and ex-partners in Germany.

"We absolutely need effective monitoring of criminals who violate the Violence Protection Act and call on politicians to act quickly," said the lawyer in an interview with the German Press Agency in Mainz. "We know of a number of cases in which court orders to prohibit approaching were issued and a killing nevertheless took place," said the prosecutor. "The majority of cases could be prevented with effective electronic surveillance."

An example

As an example, Liesching cited a doctor who was stabbed to death by her ex-partner on her own doorstep, even though a no-reasure order had been issued beforehand. The woman's little son had already heard his mother through the intercom and was waiting in the apartment with his grandmother when the perpetrator struck. "If there had been an electronic tag in that case and an alarm had gone off when he approached her, the woman might still be alive today."

In Germany, the Istanbul Convention came into force in 2018. The state had four years to implement this, Liesching warned. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is an international treaty drafted in 2011. Only recently, however, did the Council of Europe identify serious deficits in Germany when it comes to protecting women and girls from gender-based violence.

"This is grist to our mill and underscores once again the demands that we expressed in a fire letter to politicians at the beginning of the year," emphasized Liesching. "In various federal states there are draft laws, for example to monitor whereabouts in the event of violations of the prohibition on approaching." Hesse, for example, is planning to extend electronic surveillance to cases of domestic violence. According to the draft law, electronic ankle bracelets for potential violent and sex offenders should also be possible in Brandenburg in high-risk cases. "Now it's time to put these plans into action as quickly as possible."

"The patchwork quilt in Germany" is also a problem. "We have countries like Rhineland-Palatinate, where the police conduct risk management, and we have countries where there is nothing." This could be standardized with a working group at federal level, suggested the federal chairman of the White Ring.

compensation for victims

Liesching is also concerned with the topic of young people. "We are in a generation change," said the 50-year-old. He advertises for volunteers from "all social classes, professions and age groups". "All employees at Weißer Ring can decide for themselves how much time they want to spend, so that volunteer work with us is possible for students, full-time employees and senior citizens," says Liesching. "Our experience is that victims are more likely to open up to someone in their own age group." Well over half of the volunteers are now women. "Crime victims who turn to the White Ring are also mostly women."

Financial compensation for victims of crime is another focus of the aid organization. "When implementing the Victim Compensation Act, we are in dialogue with politicians and the administration about what can be improved," reported Liesching. "It has only just started and the process will take a while." But it's not about "alms at will," emphasized the lawyer. "If the state cannot protect individuals from crime, it has a duty to compensate them." Currently, however, more applications for compensation are being rejected than in the last 20 years. This is shown by the white ring analysis of the numbers for 2021.

Liesching heads the Fulda public prosecutor's office full-time. About a month ago he was elected federal chairman of the aid organization for victims of crime. He is the successor to Jörg Ziercke. The 75-year-old former president of the Federal Criminal Police Office no longer ran for reasons of age.

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