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Police and Judicial System

The German police and judicial system are obligated to protect women and their children when they experience violence. In cases of emergency, the police can be called on the free emergency hotline 110 – also with cell phones that are locked or without SIM card.

In cases of domestic violence, the police is authorised to evict a violent person from a shared apartment and to issue a restraining order. This means that this person is not allowed to enter the apartment for several days. To ensure further protection for the abused woman and her children, it is possible to issue exclusion orders that prohibit the perpetrator, for example, from entering the school attended by the children or the mother’s workplace. The police is authorised to check if the perpetrator complies with such restrictions and, if necessary, to take further protective measures.

Based on the Protection Against Violence Act, affected women can, in cases of domestic violence or stalking, file a request for long-term protection to the family court. The staff employed at women’s shelters and counselling centres can help with this. If children are also affected, it is often necessary to settle the right to care and custody, for which the family court is responsible as well.

How to proceed:

  • Call 110.
  • Tell the police that you are in danger and need protection.
  • Once arrived, the police will in most cases file a report and thus commence criminal proceedings. You yourself also have the option to press charges against the perpetrator. The police will then start an investigation to determine if a criminal offense has been committed.
  • If criminal proceedings are taken up, you should engage a lawyer who will act as your legal representative.
  • If you are an adult and have been affected by serious physical or sexualised violence, you can additionally receive psychosocial support.