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Almost half of disabled women sexually abused

A new study shows roughly half of all physically disabled women in Germany have been sexually abused during their youth. Women are also subjected to widespread physical abuse, according to the study.

Almost half of disabled women sexually abused
Photo: DPA

The results found by researchers at the University of Bielefeld was presented by German Family Minister Kristina Schröder on Tuesday evening. She told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung beforehand that the researchers had exposed “shockingly high” levels of abuse – roughly double that what able-bodied women experience.

“The good news is that with these findings, more light will finally be brought into this cruel darkness,” she told the newspaper. “Physical and sexual violence takes place everywhere people rely on support and care, and this trust can be exploited.”

During childhood and adolescence, about half of all women are molested sexually by adults, according to the findings, but even when they grow up, the abuse doesn’t stop. About 30 percent of women with disabilities so severe that they must live in institutions have been abused by other adults, according to the study – this is compared to the 10 percent cited in a previous study.

Additionally, three out of four women with disabilities experience non-physical sexual harassment by the time they become adults, and between 58 and 73 percent of disabled women are physically abused during adulthood, the research reported.

Between 50 and 60 percent of women are victimized by psychological abuse during their youth, compared to 36 percent of women in the general population, according to the report.

Schröder has plans to start a special 24-hour hotline specifically for women facing abuse in 2012.

Bundestag member Herman Kues said that in light of the study results, “We have to give these women special protection and support.”

DPA/The Local/mdm

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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