The Office

The Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues is the Office of the federal government for the concerns of victims and survivors and their relatives, for experts from a practical and scientific background, as well as for everyone in politics and society who are engaged in the fight against sexual violence.

Responsibilities

The main responsibilities include:

  1. Information, sensitisation and education on sexualised violence against children and adolescents,
  2. Support the sustainable improvement of protection against sexualised violence against children and adolescents and the provision of help to victims and survivors,
  3. Identification of legal needs for action and research gaps in the field of sexualised violence against children and adolescents,
  4. Ensuring that the interests of victims and survivors of sexual violence in childhood receive due consideration.
  5. Ensuring a systematic and independent inquiry of child sexual abuse in Germany.

Organisational

The Commissioner for Child Sex Abuse Issues is independent and not obliged to follow instructions from a higher level. The Office is located with the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) purely for organisational matters. The employees in the task force of the Independent Commissioner are experienced in the areas of law, psychology, educational theory, politics and history, communication and administration.

History

Inception

When, in 2010, numerous cases of child sex abuse particularly in educational institutions became known, the federal government reacted immediately. On 24 March 2010, it set up the Round Table for “Child Sexual Abuse” and appointed the first Independent Commissioner for the Inquiry into child sexual abuse: the Federal Minister for Family Affairs (retd.) Dr Christine Bergmann.

The essential basis into the Inquiry of child sexual abuse in private and public institutions, as well as in the family, consisted of talks with victims and survivors, but also numerous letters. Victims and survivors contacted Dr Christine Bergmann over 20,000 times, either by telephone or in writing.

Her final report of 24tMay 2011 included the results of this Inquiry, but also recommendations for specific measures for effective protection of children from sexual abuse.

Current Status

Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig succeeded Dr Christine Bergmann as Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues in December 2011.

On 12 December 2018 the office of an Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse was permanently established by the Federal Cabinet and Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig was reappointed as Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse for a further period of five years with effect from 1 April 2019.

You can find further information on Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig here.

The Telephone Helpline

The Telephone Helpline

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