Attacks that hardly anyone talks about

Attacks that hardly anyone talks about

Christian Siever is attacked because of his homosexuality. On Crime Victims' Day, he talks publicly about his case. But many homosexuals do not dare to talk about violence. The White Ring reacts.

Christian Siever is looking forward to a nice afternoon with a friend. The two want to visit the fair in his hometown Hattingen in the southern Ruhr area. When Siever gets off the bus, however, he experiences a nasty surprise: three boys he knows by sight give him the middle finger and insult him – because of his homosexuality.

There are words that Siever would rather not repeat. "I ignored it," he says. But the rabble-rousers follow. As far as his parents' house, which is on the way. One of them pinched Siever's nipple so hard that he still suffers tie injuries today. Only when his father and his sister came to help, the perpetrators took off.

Assaults the order of the day

"Such attacks on homosexuals are unfortunately the order of the day in Germany," says the deputy regional chairwoman of the victim protection organization Weiber Ring in Hamburg, Kristina Erichsen-Kruse. Concrete case numbers do not have it. "But we know that there is a very high number of unreported cases."Many homosexuals would not dare to seek help after such incidents or even to go public. The inhibition threshold is too high.

Not so with Christian Siever: the now 19-year-old biology student filed charges against his tormentors and sought counseling from the White Ring. "The conversations with the police officer and the woman from the 'White Ring' were a great help to me," he says in retrospect.

Siever went even further: he made his story public. The local newspaper and an Internet portal for gay and bisexual youth reported. On Wednesday, Siever will speak about his story at a memorial service for Victims of Crime Day at Hamburg's main church, Sankt Jacobi. The day created by the White Ring is celebrated every year on 22. March committed.

Positive reactions to so much courage

"Speaking publicly about the attack helps me deal with it," Siever says. The first weeks after the crime he had slept badly and had been afraid. In the meantime, he is over it and dares to go out on the street again. He has received a lot of positive feedback for his courage in speaking about the incident, he says.

"This was one hundred percent the right step."Only in this way can something change in society. "Mr. Siever's statement can motivate other victims to seek counseling," Erichsen-Kruse said. The White Ring in Hamburg, he said, has since recognized the situation of homosexuals who are victims of violent acts as a serious problem. For this reason, he says, the state association has launched a new project in which staff want to reach out more to people in the homosexual and transgender scene. "We would like to encourage the victims of violence and insults to contact us."

Currently, several of the organization's counselors are being trained to deal with same-sex oriented people. "They often think differently and move differently than heterosexuals. Because they face a lot of prejudice, they are often much more sensitive," explains Erichsen-Kruse. One must be prepared for this in counseling, he says.

Two of the three perpetrators sentenced

Christian Siever would seek help again at any time. He's glad he sought out the conversation and also filed charges. A proximity ban was initially imposed on his tormentors. "However, they do not adhere to this," reports Sievers. Again and again there were insults.

In the meantime, two of the three perpetrators have been convicted. Because they were treated according to juvenile criminal law, the trials were held in camera. The proceedings against the third teenager are still ongoing. Is Siever afraid of another assault? "No, but I have become more careful."

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