With a new nationwide campaign against sexual violence against children, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs and the Federal Abuse Commissioner, Kerstin Claus, want to raise awareness of the issue. Many people would suppress sexual abuse in their environment, said Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) on Thursday when the campaign was presented. But that's exactly what shouldn't happen.
"We adults have a responsibility to be there for children. We have a responsibility not to dismiss suspicions, not to let them be, but to pursue them," said Paus. The new campaign, entitled "Don't push the thought away!" should help to question familiar family thought patterns and to better recognize sexual abuse in everyday life.
The number of cases is increasing
In the police crime statistics, 15,500 cases of child sexual abuse were registered last year - an increase of 6.3 percent compared to 2020. Paus pointed out that the dark field, i.e. the number of cases that were not known or reported, " incomparably larger". About three quarters of the cases took place in the closest social environment.
Politicians must also do more to protect affected children. The minister announced that she would therefore give the office of Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse (UBSKM) a legal basis before the end of this legislative period. The aim is to regulate the legal status of the office and its tasks in a more binding manner. In addition, according to Paus, a regular reporting obligation to the German Bundestag should be established.
The new campaign is designed as a multi-year project. According to the abuse officer Claus, budget funds of five million euros are available for this and the coming year 2023. The aim is to achieve the financing in 2024 and 2025, explained Claus.
In addition to the dissemination of information, it is planned that local initiatives will be strengthened with a campaign office. The National Council against Sexual Violence against Children and Young People - a federal forum with several working groups - should also support the work.