The round table is coming, the debate about statutes of limitations in sexual abuse remains: to abolish them, the Federal Minister of Justice again rejected and at the same time attacked the church again. Chancellor Merkel also sees the time for new legislative initiatives has not yet come.
A "broad and intensive discussion is necessary" before the government intervenes, said government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm on Monday (08.03.2010) in Berlin. First, experts in the relevant ministries should discuss an appropriate course of action. Wilhelm emphasized that child abuse is not just an ie for boarding schools or schools. It is quite generally about the question of how the state can recognize abuse earlier and prevent "wherever abuse happens ". With regard to the discussion about the statute of limitations, Wilhelm said that an extension of the time limits could only be directed at the future. In cases from the past, it is a matter of clarification and reappraisal. The topic is legally demanding and requires careful consideration. Horst Seehofer stressed in favor of extending the deadline. One must not only think about the clarification and punishment of such cases, but also "about the legal basis". Seehofer added: "This should be done with due diligence."
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger: Catholic wall of silence After forty or fifty years, it is still very difficult to establish facts and find witnesses, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) said on Deutschlandfunk radio. The FDP politician pointed out that under current law, cases of abuse can still be prosecuted up to twenty years after the victim has reached the age of majority. She criticized that there was a wall of silence, especially in Catholic schools, that covered up abuse and mistreatment. Responsible for this is also a directive of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2001, according to which even serious cases of abuse are first and foremost subject to papal secrecy and should not be passed on to state agencies. Unlike the FDP politician, SPD board member Ralf Stegner questioned the statute of limitations in cases of sexual abuse. "We must succeed in reducing the number of unreported cases and in breaking up the silence that has existed in some cases for decades," the SPD chairman of Schleswig-Holstein told the "Hamburger Abendblatt" (Monday). Therefore, legal statutes of limitations should be reviewed.