Domestic violence on the rise in Germany with one woman killed every three days

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Domestic violence on the rise in Germany with one woman killed every three days
Domestic abuse is rising in Germany. Photo: DPA

The number of victims of domestic violence in Germany is rising, new figures show.


Last year 122 women in Germany were killed by their partner or ex-partner, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).

"Every day an attempt takes place, every third day the attempt is actually carried out," said Family Minister Franziska Giffey, of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), reported Spiegel on Monday.

In total, more than 114,000 women were victims of domestic violence, threats or coercion by their husbands, partners or ex-partners in 2018.

BKA data shows the number of deaths fell by 25 last year compared to 2017. Overall, however, there were more cases of violence. The number rose from 113,965 to 114,393 during this time.

Graph prepared for The Local by Statista

Giffey was set to reveal the latest figures on domestic violence at a presentation in Berlin on Monday. The event is taking place on November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The offences recorded by German police range from bodily harm to murder and manslaughter. Giffey said the figures were alarming – especially as the number of unreported cases is likely even higher.

In 2018, a total of 140,000 people were victims of domestic abuse, the SPD politician said. The proportion of women affected is more than 81 percent.

There were also some 26,000 men who were threatened, coerced or attacked by their partners or ex-partners. There has been an increasing number of male victims in recent years.

What's Germany doing to help victims?

The government is aiming raise awareness and encourage victims of abuse to seek support. A website has been set up with information for victims as part of a nationwide initiative.

Germany also wants to expand its number of refuge centres for women. Nationwide there are currently about 350 women's shelters.

Within the next four years, the government wants to provide €120 million for women's shelters and women's counselling centres. Women affected by violence will be legally entitled to a place in a shelter in future, the government hopes. "This will be our future aim," said Giffey.

At the moment, however, centres are overcrowded and there are not enough spaces. Giffey said there were gaps in rural areas as well as big cities and the government wanted to address these problems.


Domestic violence - (die) häusliche Gewalt

Violence in relationships - (die) Partnerschaftsgewalt

Bodily harm - (die) Körperverletzung

Murder - (der) Mord

Manslaughter - (der) Totschlag

Attempt - (der) Versuch

Nationwide initiative - (die) bundesweite Initiative

Women's shelters - (die) Frauenhäusern

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