Domestic violence in Germany increases over last 5 years

BERLIN (AP) — The number of domestic violence victims in Germany has increased by 3.4% in the last five years and the overwhelming majority of them are women, the German government said Thursday.

A government report indicated that there were 143,604 domestic violence cases in 2021, up by 4,711 from 2017. However, the real figure is likely much higher since many victims are afraid to report domestic violence to the police.

According to the report’s data for 2021, 80.3 % of victims were female, while 78.8 % of suspects were male.

“Every hour, an average of 13 women suffer intimate partner violence. Almost every day, a partner or ex-partner attempts to kill a woman. Almost every third day, a woman dies at the hands of her current or previous partner. That is the reality. The reality is also that many victims of violence are afraid to get help,” Family Minister Lisa Paus told reporters in Berlin during the report’s presentation.

Paus said services geared toward helping women need to be expanded urgently “so that in the future, women everywhere in Germany will find a safe haven and competent advice and help.”

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, said it was also important that perpetrators face the consequences of their crimes.

“Men who commit violence against women, whether psychological or physical, are criminals — criminals whom we prosecute with the utmost severity,” Faeser said. “Because what they do is abhorrent and fundamentally opposed to our basic social values.”

The data also showed a 3% drop of reported domestic violence cases between 2020 and 2021. But it’s not clear how reliable these figures are since previous reports have shown that many victims found it harder to report violence during pandemic lockdowns.

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