The German government's commissioner for abuse, Johannes-Wilhelm Rorig, praises the churches for their commitment to preventing child abuse. "What matters now is that what has been agreed is actually applied," Rorig stressed on our site-interview. He announces a survey of 1500 church congregations on how they deal with sexualized violence.
The church shows great commitment to preventing abuse, he praised. What specifically do you estimate?
The Catholic Church, the German Bishops' Conference, and also the German Conference of Superiors of Religious Orders have committed themselves to me to agree on and support the introduction of protection concepts, i.e. concepts for the prevention of sexual violence, in their structures. This is a very important step, which builds on what the German Bishops' Conference already decided in September 2010 with the framework regulation for the prevention of sexual abuse of minors. This means that the German Bishops' Conference and the abuse commissioner, Bishop Ackermann, will intensify their involvement even further. That is to be emphasized positively.
What do the church, charities and sports federations still need to work on in their prevention efforts??
Now it is important that what has been agreed is actually applied on the ground in the facilities where the children and young people spend their daily lives. This is a very complicated and strenuous path for all those who bear responsibility, but it is a path that must be taken. In the future, protection and action concepts for the protection of children from sexual violence must be introduced in facilities, i.e. also in church communities, in sports clubs, in schools and daycare centers.
With the corresponding agreements, the churches have also agreed to support the Federal Government Commissioner for Abuse, i.e. you, in conducting two nationwide surveys in their church structures this year and next year. What are these surveys?
Yes, I am very pleased that we were able to reach an agreement on this. We will ask the management of the facilities whether prevention concepts are already being applied in their facilities or not. for when the introduction or further development of such protection concepts is planned. We need to gain an overview and concretely identify the need for action. For example, in the area of the Catholic Church, that is our intention, we will survey 1500 parishes on this complex of ies, whether they have already switched on protective measures for children and young people against sexualized violence.
The first survey started in June. The results are to be presented at the balance meeting of the round table at the end of the year. What is particularly important to you??
I hope, of course, that positive results will emerge. I will make sure that the results are presented transparently and comprehensibly. I hope that I have a lot of positive things to report, but aming that it should turn out in one area or another that nothing is being done to implement the recommendations of the Round Table, then I would of course also mention this.
You have announced a new campaign on protection against abuse for the coming year. What is the goal of this campaign?
The campaign is intended to support facility management, but also parents and professionals in the introduction of protection concepts. I would like to facilitate communication between parents and professionals, i.e. teachers, pastors and trainers, and those responsible in daycare centers, for example, to talk about the topic of sexual violence, and I would like to activate parents so that they also ask for and demand protection concepts on site in the facilities. One thing is very important to me to emphasize: I want the professionals, i.e. teachers, educators, coaches and pastors, to be sensitized and to be available as trustworthy contact persons for children and young people. We must always keep in mind: Most cases of sexual abuse take place in the family and in the social environment, and also between children and young people among themselves. It is important that the persons of trust in the facilities are actually trustworthy contact persons for the children and adolescents and that they are really helped.
The interview was conducted by Monika Weib (our site)
The Federal Government Commissioner for Abuse, Johannes-Wilhelm Rorig, spoke at a conference on protection against sexual violence against children in Berlin on Tuesday. As with the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOS) and the welfare associations, there is a great willingness to intervene in cases of suspected abuse and to improve local prevention, Rorig explained. In June, the churches had signed agreements on the protection of children and young people from sexual violence in Berlin.
According to the Abuse Commissioner, the aim of the agreement is to implement the recommendations of the Round Table against Child Abuse set up by the German government. The DOS, the Workers' Welfare Association, the Paritatische Gesamtverband, the municipal umbrella organizations and the German Federal Youth Ring have also signed the catalog of measures.
With the agreements, the churches also agree to support the federal government's abuse commissioner in conducting two nationwide surveys in their church structures this year and next year. According to Rorig, dioceses, regional churches and parishes should provide information on which concepts for prevention and intervention in cases of sexualized violence have been developed and which are planned. The first survey, which will also take place in daycare centers, boarding schools, homes, children's hospitals, sports and youth associations, as well as with the providers of children's and youth travel, and presumably also in schools, began in June. The results are to be presented at the balance meeting of the round table at the end of the year. A second survey is to take place next spring.