Go to the doctor
It certainly makes sense
- to see a gynaecologist within 24 hours to have any injuries attended to and to ascertain whether you have contracted an STD
- to find out about testing for HIV
- to get a prescription for the “morning after pill” if you wish to
- to ask whether physical evidence of the rape and the results of medical examinations can be documented in case you later decide to report the rape to the police. (The doctor is not obliged to provide this service.)
You should also keep in paper bags any clothing, underwear or objects that carry evidence of the act of violence.
New to Berlin
If you do not yet wish to report the rape to the police, the Gewaltschutzambulanz (Outpatient Clinic for Protection against Violence) of the Charité Hospital Berlin can confidentially secure forensic evidence of the crime. You can reach the Gewaltschutzambulanz of the Charité by telephone between 8:30 am and 3 pm under 450 570 270. The so-called VSS (securing forensic evidence without a police report following sexual violence) will then take place within 72 hours after the rape, Monday - Friday 8 am to 6 pm. Be sure to make an appointment under 450 570 270 and bring your health insurance card and your ID card, passport or some other form of ID with you.
The DNA traces will be stored for one year, during which you can file a report and the police can pick up the DNA samples from the Charité. After that the evidence will be disposed of.
Sexual harassment at work is an everyday problem that occurs in many different employment sectors and is not an isolated incident. Although the legal parameters are clear, many employers fail to intervene or simply don’t know how to deal with such situations. Moreover, many of those who become targets of sexual harassment do not realise that the law is on their side.
Under the German equal treatment act (AGG) your employer is obliged to take preventive measures to protect you. But often enough employers fail to put such measures in place. If you are subjected to sexual harassment at work, you are legally entitled to protection from your employer. In addition, you can contact the Complaints Office of your place of work; every place of work is legally obliged to have one.
Harassment of this kind often involves one person exerting their power over another. Often those affected are dependent on their job to earn their living, making it more difficult for them to fight back and to protect themselves sufficiently. But you don’t have to deal with such a situation by yourself. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment at work we can support and advise you and help you to find ways to resolve the situation.
For legal advice you can contact the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency whose website is also in English:
Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes
The Agency has published a leaflet (in German) for those who have experienced sexual harassment at work:
Grenzen setzen – Was tun bei sexueller Belästigung am Arbeitsplatz? (Setting boundaries – What to do if you experience sexual harassment at work)
The right to sexual self-determination is enshrined in German law. Nevertheless, women continue to experience attacks and harassment on a daily basis that violate their rights as women. Discrimination, harassment, sexual assault and rape are problems of our society, which need to be effectively tackled through legal channels. Women are often successful in repelling such attacks.
Nevertheless, every woman can potentially become a rape victim.
There are many ways for victims of violence to come to terms with their experience. We can help you find your own way. Many of the women who come to us have not spoken to anyone about their experience of violence for a long time and have felt increasingly alone with it. Reasons for remaining silent are fear of rejection and shame or the feeling that they bear some of the responsibility for what happened. A fundamental principle of our advice service is that the perpetrator is solely responsible for the attack.
Our society has many images and ideas about sexual violence. Often the victims are blamed or at least held partially responsible for what has happened to them. No-one is responsible for having experienced violence, and it is time that attitudes changed. In our flyer you can read about the most common myths about sexual violence and our responses to them.
If the case comes before the court, you will be a very important witness. We recommend that you use LARA’s legal advice service so that an experienced lawyer can represent you as an accessory prosecution if you wish. Making a statement in the presence of the accused can be extremely distressing for the victim. Therefore LARA offers a specially qualified employee to give you emotional and social support during the trial.
The right to sexual self-determination applies just as much in a love relationship or marriage as it does elsewhere. Yet many women experience sexual violence within such relationships. You are not alone in your experiences and you have a right to support!