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Telephone terror, insults, sexual coercion, work place molestation, rape, sexual abuse, violence and threats in a marriage, relationship and family are all examples of sexual violence which can be part of daily life for girls and women. The violence begins where girls and women feel restricted in their personal freedom. In other words when they avoid certain places ways or situations in order to prevent being insulted, molested and threatened.

If you have gone through any of these experiences, try not to keep your emotions or problems to yourself. Speak with someone you trust or with one of our emergency/crisis counsellors.

You can turn to us no matter:

  • how long ago you experienced the abuse or if it is still going on
  • what form the sexual violence took and to what extent
  • whether the sexual violence took place within or out with a relationship and  the perpetrator was a stranger or somebody you knew
  • whether you have pressed charges or not, want to press charges or not.

We are there to offer guidance for all the steps you want to take. During counselling sessions we can i.e. work out together what you can do for yourself and discuss how you can protect yourself or combat the violence.

If you wish, we can provide you with infomation on i.e. pressing charges, special  counselling and therapy possibilities, legal proceedings, clinics and self-help groups.  We can also provide you with addresses of doctors, lawyers and therapists etc.

We offer advice/counselling in person or over the telephone. Advice/counselling is confidential and free.

If you wish, we can also accompany you to a medical examination, to the police station and to the courts.


If you want to take legal steps

You should:

  • if applicable, have the forensic medicine department in Hamburg secure available traces and evidence
  • turn to an experienced lawyer
  • make notes, mental or written, about the events of the assault

You can reach the forensic medical department in Hamburg responsible for Dithmarschen at the phone number +49 40-741052127.

Women who been sexually abused and want to press charges often have many questions, feel insecure or afraid.

You can talk to us about your fears or worries and get information on criminal proceedings i.e. about the procedure, your legal rights, incidental action,  possible security measures, legal aid as well as court examininings etc.


Sexual violence against girls and women

All forms of sexual assault are not necessarily about violent forms of sexuality but rather about violence where sex is used as an instrument.That`s why we talk of sexual violence.

Only very few acts of sexual violence are committed by complete strangers. More often than not the perpetrators are acquaintances, friends, (ex-) husbands, partners or (step-) fathers, grandfathers, brothers or uncles.

Women and girls are in no way at all to blame for sexual assaults. There is no behaviour that warrants women or girls being sexually abused. Only the perpetrator is responsible for their actions.

Sexual violence evokes different and sometimes contradictory emotions: As well as feeling fear, anger, disgust and disappointment about the breach of trust if the perpetrator was someone known to the victim, sexually assaulted women and girls often harbour feelings of guilt and shame.

Anxiety and panic attacks, insomnia, self-harm, the inability to relate to others, isolation, feelings of guilt, addictions or dissociative disorders are often the consequences of violence. These can all have a profound and long-lasting impact on the victims.

On the next page you can find some vital information which should be considered in the event of rape.


Rape or attempted rape is a massive violation of privacy infringement for every woman and every girl. The psychological effects are just as serious as the physical effects for those who have experienced acts of violence.

According to the study “Life situations, safety and health of women in Germany” (2004) commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, about one out of seven women is subject to criminal sexual violence. About 85% of the women know the abuser. Often, it is a partner or ex-partner. The closer the woman is to the abuser, the higher is the threshold to reporting him.

So, many women only think of reporting the person years later. If at the time of the crime no evidence was secured, the probability of a conviction of the abuser is very low.

It is also problematic that some women do not seek medical treatment after being raped because they are scared that it will automatically lead to a police report. They hereby expose themselves to great risks. In Schleswig-Holstein, every woman has the right to get immediate medical treatment after being raped, including confidential collection of evidence - all this without reporting to the police.

You can find information about the confidential collection of evidence and the immediate medical treatment in Dithmarschen at:

Phone: +49 40-7410-52127 (24 h/day)

The legal aspects of rape are laid out in section 177 of the German Criminal code  (§177 StGB.)

What to do if you have been raped:

  • Get a medical specialist examination by (female) employees of the forensic medical department or trained hospital personnel
  • If you have loss of memory, tell your doctor to determine if narcotic substances (knockout-drops/date rape drugs) have been used on you.
  • The medical specialist examination is a measure to preserve evidence. Traces of sperm, blood, hair and skin particles of the abuser can in some cases only be secured within 24 hours.
  • If you decide to report the abuser to the police, now or later, this evidence is important to convict the abuser and to sue for compensation for damages, pain and suffering.
  • In the medical examination, you can get information about preventive measures for contagious sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS and Hepatitis.
  • You can get a pregnancy test.

If you are a victim, please consider the following advice:

  • Do not wash or clean yourself before the medical examination.
  • Do not wash your clothes and do not destroy tampons, menstruation pads or panty liners. Please do not store anything that can be used as evidence in a plastic bag because even though it protects from the outside, on the inside fungi and bacteria can form and destroy DNA evidence.
  • Ask the doctor to document the examination results and injuries in detail.
  • If possible, ask a friend, a person you trust or an employee of one of our counselling centres to accompany you to the medical examination.

Upon your request, we will for example advise you about making a police report, what happens afterwards and the court proceedings.

You receive information about special counselling and therapy options, clinics and offers for self-help, as well as information about, for example, compensation according to the Victims Compensation Law (Opferentschädigungsgesetz (OEG)).

In our counselling centres, affected women and girls (of 16 years or older) have the opportunity to talk about their experience with violence without having to worry about criminal proceedings being started without their consent.