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Corona and domestic violence: when young people call the police themselves


Beatings with the belt, strangulation marks: In Berlin, the judiciary and medical professionals will see an increase in domestic violence in 2020. WhatsApp was sometimes the last resort for those affected.

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Photo: ucpage / iStockphoto / Getty Images

In Berlin, more domestic violence was registered in the corona year 2020 than in the previous year.

According to Justice Senator Dirk Behrendt (Greens), the number of criminal proceedings in this field rose by 7.5 percent to 15,871 cases - the highest value in the past ten years.

Behrendt spoke of a "significant increase".

The number of domestic violence proceedings initiated annually by Berlin's public prosecutor's offices has fluctuated since 2011 between 12,381 (2015) and 15,622 in 2017, when a number similar to that recorded during the pandemic.

The effects of the corona crisis on cases of domestic violence were in the foreground at a press conference by Behrendt and the Berlin violence protection outpatient clinic this Wednesday.

The doctors in the ambulance offer victims of violence to document their injuries confidentially for later criminal proceedings.

In 2020, 1661 people accepted the offer.

That was around eight percent more than in the previous year, said Vice President Saskia Etzold.

The youngest are particularly badly affected: the number of cases with children has risen by 14.4 percent.

The cases at the violence protection ambulance have risen continuously since it was founded in 2014.

At that time, 307 cases were registered, in 2018 there were 1381, now the new high.

With regard to the 2020 numbers, Head Etzold spoke of wave-like movements before and after a shutdown.

In March 2020, the numbers in your outpatient clinic fell by 24 percent compared to March 2019. With the easing, the numbers rose by leaps and bounds, in June by 30 percent compared to June of the previous year.

With the next restrictions in November 2020, the numbers fell again by 38 percent compared to the same month last year.

One of the reasons, according to Etzold: In times of home office, closed day nurseries and schools, those affected would no longer find an argument in front of their partner to leave the apartment.

That means: They do not have their injuries documented - or only later, after the rules have been relaxed.

However, one must record the injuries as quickly as possible, said Etzold.

Especially with children, they are quickly no longer visible.

According to Etzold's account, violence has not only become more frequent in 2020 - it has also become more brutal: she spoke of an “exacerbation of the severity of violence”.

Women suffered harder and more injuries, especially bruises and choke marks.

"Violence against the neck" was also seen "very often in children."

But also blows with sticks or belts.

In the case of minors in particularly drastic cases and if the doctors feared a repetition, they inform the police, according to Etzold.

"More cases of abused children have been seen," said the doctor.

In the aforementioned special constellation, the duty of confidentiality was broken in individual cases and the investigators were informed so that the violence would not be repeated.

Parents wanted to get rid of the police

According to the experts, it is also new that young victims are now getting help themselves.

Senator Behrendt said a boy had alerted the police from his room in the summer.

The child's parents tried to get rid of the officials.

However, the police managed to free the boy from the "violent situation".

Etzold confirmed the development.

“Before that, it was rather rare for children and young people to contact the police directly.

They had no choice in lockdown, ”she told SPIEGEL.

If, for example, the schools are open, then the children and young people know that they can exchange ideas with classmates or teachers in the next few days.

This possibility was no longer available in shutdown times.

Young people have therefore increasingly called the police themselves.

In one case, a victim sent photos of his injuries to a friend via WhatsApp.

His parents would then have turned on the police.

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Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-03-03

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