Embarrassing gawping, aggressive come-ons, sexual harassment, sexual assault by acquaintances or family members... many young people find themselves subjected to these situations, in all kinds of ways. Most of them feel that they are somehow to blame, but in truth, the only ones to blame are the ones who commit these acts.
Sexual abuse is an offence in Germany. There is specific statutory protection for children and young people in Germany designed to keep them safe from sexual exploitation. And regardless of age, it is always an offence to force someone to have sex.
You have a right to receive help!
Maybe you know girls or boys who have experienced sexual abuse and you'd like to help them. Or maybe this concerns you. Please don't hesitate to get help: talk to someone at home or to a relative, a friend or a teacher.
If you'd prefer to talk to a professional and you're looking for someone who'll listen to you and then work with you to find a way to help you, websites like www.hilfeportal-missbrauch.de will point you towards a specialized advice centre near you. You can also ring 0800 22 55 530 (a free and anonymous helpline) or "Nummer gegen Kummer", Germany's largest hotline for children and young people in distress: 0800 111 0 333. The advisors are experts who are familiar with the problems faced by children and young people.
Help on the web
www.hilfeportal-missbrauch.de is an online portal offering information about advice, help and questions regarding prevention.
You can also find help and a means of reporting what happened to you on www.I-KiZ.de (Zentrum für Kinderschutz im Internet - Centre for the Protection of Children on the Internet) or on www.nummergegenkummer.de.
Online advisory services about sexual violence in the new media is available here: https://save-me-online.de.
www.loveline.de is a website of the Federal Centre for Health Education, offering information about sexuality, advisory centres near you and an expert chat facility where your questions will be answered.
Support is also available at Zartbitter, one of Germany's oldest contact and information points dealing with sexual abuse.