Germany sees rise in domestic violence during pandemic year

by IANS |

Berlin, Nov 24 (IANS) The number of reported acts of violence among couples and former partners in Germany increased more sharply in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic than in the previous years, the Ministry for Family Affairs (BMFSFJ) announced.

Authorities registered 146,655 cases of domestic violence nationwide last year, an increase of 4.9 per cent on the previous year, according to data from the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).

"The judiciary must pursue these acts with great determination against the perpetrators and with sensitivity for the victims," Xinhua news agency quoted Minister of Family Affairs Christine Lambrecht as saying.

"We must do everything we can to help those affected so they can escape the violence and protect themselves and their children."

According to the BKA data, the majority of cases of domestic violence continued to be perpetrated by men.

However, the share of female suspects has risen slightly in recent years, reaching 20.9 per cent.

Violence between partners in Germany may have increased during the pandemic-induced lockdowns because these situations "made it harder for victims to report and harder for outsiders to notice acts of violence in their environment", the BMFSFJ noted.

According to the Ministry, the number of women contacting the national "Violence against Women" hotline increased significantly during the lockdowns.

Last year, a total of 51,000 calls were registered, around 15 per cent more than the previous year.

"No perpetrator should feel safe from prosecution," BKA President Holger Muench said, calling on citizens to be "vigilant, pay attention to those around you and contact counselling centres or the police if you have any suspicions".

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