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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.