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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

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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