The commission set up by the Federal Government Commissioner for Abuse to deal with child abuse begins its hearings this week. Victims of sexual abuse in childhood and adolescence have their say.
The hearings will take place in closed session and in a protected setting in Berlin on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the office of the federal government's abuse commissioner in Berlin. Specialized counseling centers are on site to offer support if needed.
The commission had begun its work in January. It will be funded with around 1.4 million euros per year until 2019 – the end of the term of office of abuse commissioner Johannes-Wilhelm Rorig. From the Ministry of the Family comes about 1.2 million euros. 200.000 euros is given by the Federal Ministry of Justice. The Bundestag family committee had given the green light for the commission last year. It investigates the extent and consequences of child abuse in Germany and is attached to the Abuse Commissioner.
More confidential hearings are planned: They will take place on 29. November, 30. November, 1. December and 13. December in Berlin held. According to the commission, the statements of those involved are treated confidentially. With its help, the commission can inform and raise awareness in society about the extent, nature and consequences of child sexual abuse, he said.
The chairwoman of the commission, Sabine Andresen, said that the stories of those affected are important and contribute to change in society. For many of those affected, he said, this was not an easy step to take. It costs strength and demands trust.
"We have great respect for this," says Andresen. The first public hearing, "Child abuse in a family context," will be held next year on 31. January in Berlin takes place.