Criminal proceedings and victim protection

About a month after the start of the Round Table "Sexual Abuse" of the Federal Government, the three working groups are now meeting for the first time, the concrete factual work begins. Starting today, the Federal Ministry of Justice will make the first move. The question of compensation payments will play a central role here.

According to a BMJ spokesman, it is to deal in the coming months with the enforcement of the state's right to punishment, with legal policy consequences and the "recognition of the suffering of the victims". On Tuesday, Kristina Schroder (CDU) will kick off the "Prevention and Intervention" working group at the Ministry of Family Affairs, which will initially focus on developing standards in institutions. In two and a half weeks, on 7. June, the third round of meetings will be the research ministry's working group with State Secretary Cornelia Quennet-Thielen. It will focus on scientific research on pedophilia and therapeutic options, as well as education and training for teachers and also family doctors. Thus the round table draws its circles. Am 23. On April 1, about 60 experts and representatives of social groups sat together in a large circle. Hardly everyone got a chance to speak. Now Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) alone will welcome a good 40 experts – victim representatives, speakers from the judicial professions and youth work, from churches, sports and child protection, members of the Bundestag and scientists. The further rounds will be similarly large. Enforcement of the state's right to punish As a prelude, the enforcement of the state's right to punishment is on the agenda at the BMJ. Program points include the status of victims in criminal proceedings, the question of a legal obligation to involve investigators and police authorities in cases of suspicion, and recognition of the suffering of victims "in every respect". Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger already has concrete expectations for all of these topics, she made clear this week during an appearance at the Peter Maffay Foundation in Berlin. For example, she called for more empathy on the part of the public prosecutor's office in order to achieve "even better" protection of children in investigative proceedings. It can thus be amed that, in an international comparison, the so-called Swedish model is also being considered in their house. This concept aims to spare the child in question as much as possible from making any unnecessary statements. "Question of some financial recognition" The liberal again urged reporting any suspicion of sexual abuse to the public prosecutor's office. So far, there is no legal obligation to do so. "No institution has the right to put itself in the place of the judiciary," she said. And the minister urged "institutions" – by which, in view of the previous fronts, the Catholic Church was surely meant first and foremost – to "do something" in concrete financial terms, even in the case of long-ago cases of abuse that are now becoming public. They would stand in the responsibility. "In the end, there must also be the question of a certain financial recognition," said the minister. She expressly emphasized that the state could also participate in this, in addition to the institutions concerned. The three working groups will probably meet about four times this year. The plenum of the round table has a date and an "interim report" towards the end of the year in mind. This means that the working groups will probably continue their work in 2011.

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