Support and counselling services for women, men and people who inflict violence

Those affected by violence are not alone. Many organisations offer counselling services to women and men in need of help. There are also counselling centres for perpetrators willing to change their behaviour. Here, you can find out more on how to receive support from our partners and how to reach out to them.

The following is a list of existing support and counselling services for women, men and people who inflict violence.

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SUPPORT AND COUNSELLING SERVICES FOR WOMEN

Via phone, online chat, Email or in a face-to-face meeting – there are several organisations offering women who have experienced violence individualised counselling according to their own specific needs.

Family members, friends or professionals who want to help women experiencing violence, can also turn to these points of contact.

"Violence against women" support hotline

The nationwide “Violence against Women” support hotline (Hilfetelefon “Gewalt gegen Frauen”) is aimed at women who experienced or are still experiencing violence.

Available around the clock and free of charge, it gives women the opportunity to reach out to a woman counsellor – confidentially and anonymously. The counsellors are qualified professionals with experience in counselling women affected by violence.

The support hotline is nationally available around the clock – even on weekends and holidays. Requests for counselling can also be sent via Email or online chat in a protected area on www.hilfetelefon.de.

From Arabic to Vietnamese: By working with interpreters, the support hotline can provide counselling in 17 different languages. During the initial counselling, the counsellors will begin by listening closely and offering their experience and their assessment of the situation. Together with the women seeking advice, they work to find ways out of violence. Where desired, the affected women can also be referred to appropriate counselling centres and support organisations close to home.

The service is also explicitly aimed at those affected who have a disability or impairment, which is why it is provided in Easy Language and in German sign language, as well.

Relatives, friends and professionals, too, can contact the “violence against women” support hotline to help women who suffered violence.

The support hotline operates under the roof of the Federal Office of Family Affairs and Civil Society Functions (Bundesamt für Familie und zivilgesellschaftliche Aufgaben).

Contact details of the “violence against women” helpline:

Telephone counselling: 08000 116 016

Online counselling: www.hilfetelefon.de

Federal Association of Rape Crisis Centres and Women's Counselling Centres (bff)

The Federal Association of Rape Crisis Centres and Women’s Counselling Centres (Bundesverband Frauenberatungsstellen und Frauennotrufe - bff) offers local support services for affected women and those around them.

Available in several languages (German, English, Turkish, Arabic and German sign language), the website provides information on support services and counselling centres for people affected by any form of violence. The face-to-face or telephone counselling sessions offered by the counselling centres are free of charge and anonymous, and they are conducted by experienced woman employees.

The bff currently incorporates about 190 counselling and rape crisis centres. In addition, the bff aims at raising public awareness about the topic of violence against women. The association actively promotes violence prevention through various projects and campaigns.

Local assistance and counselling services

Homepage: www.frauen-gegen-gewalt.de/en/

Federal Anti-discrimination Agency

Any person who has experienced discrimination on account of their age, sex, religion or philosophy, a disability or chronic illness, ethnicity or sexual identity can turn to the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes). This also includes, for instance, sexualised harassment in the workplace.

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency’s counselling team offers those affected initial legal advice on their specific case free of charge so they can decide their further course of action. Requests can also be made anonymously.

Moreover, a search function on the website will find counselling centres nearby. The counselling centre search is also accessible in Easy Language.

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes) answers questions around the General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz - AGG) and provides information material on all matters relating to discrimination and equal treatment - for those affected, employers and employee or worker representatives.

Counselling can be requested by phone (0049 / 30 / 18555 1855), e-mail or in sign language.

Homepage: www.antidiskriminierungsstelle.de/en/

Association of Women's Shelters - FHK

The Berlin-based Association of Women’s Shelters (Frauenhauskoordinierung e.V.) supports women’s shelters and specialised counselling centres through information, exchange and networking. The FHK works closely with experts working on the ground, in politics, administration and academia.

With approx. 260 women’s shelters and 230 specialised counselling centres, the FHK and its members promote and safeguard the assistance and support system for women survivors of violence and their children.

On the website, the affected women and those who care about them find contact points near them and important information on violence against women. The offerings are available in eleven languages.

The association develops resources and materials for professionals and staff at women’s shelters and specialised counselling services. It supports their PR work and advises the Federation and Federal States with regard to their strategy to fight violence against women.

The FHK’s managing office in Berlin can be reached by telephone and e-mail.

Homepage: www.frauenhauskoordinierung.de

German NGO Network Against Trafficking in Human Beings (KOK)

The German NGO network against trafficking in human beings (Bundesweiter Koordinierungskreis gegen Menschenhandel e.V. - KOK) is a nationwide network of specialised counselling centres and other organisations that fights for survivors of human trafficking and exploitation and against violence against migrants.

The managing office’s main task is to represent the political interests of its member organisations on the federal level and in public. The specialised counselling centres offer free, anonymous and confidential counselling. The centres have professionals and interpreters sharing the native languages of their clients.

The association can be reached by telephone (0049 / 30 / 263 911 76)  and e-mail.

Homepage: www.kok-gegen-menschenhandel.de/en/

Central Information Centre of Autonomous Women’s Shelters (ZIF)

Affected women and their family and friends can find contact addresses of autonomous women's shelters on the website of the Zentrale Informationsstelle autonomer Frauenhäuser - ZIF.

Of the approx. 350 women's shelters, about 100 autonomous women's shelters have joined the ZIF. They have done so to express their non-partisan and non-denominational status. Moreover, they have self-managed and non-hierarchical work structures. The women's shelters that have joined the ZIF operate in line with specific principles such as feminism, partiality and racism awareness.

The ZIF is their umbrella organisation. It supports the networking and PR activities of its member institutions’ staff, draws up statements, engages in political lobbying, organises meetings and initiates campaigns fighting violence against women.

Homepage: www.autonome-frauenhaeuser-zif.de

Network of Women with Disabilities

Weibernetz e.V., a nationwide network of women/lesbians and girls with disabilities, provides information about topics such as (sexualised) violence against women with disabilities, anti-discrimination and equality of women with disabilities.

The federal network is a political advocacy group by and for women and girls with disabilities and/or chronic illness and lobbies for their rights and for a self-determined life.

The nationwide self-representation is an organisation of women with various disabilities, the Land networks and focal points of women with disabilities and individual counselling and support organisations of women/lesbians.

Specifically, Weibernetz lobbies for, among other things, accessible women’s shelters and counselling centres as well as comprehensive protection from violence covering all spheres of life of women and girls living with impairments. Weibernetz informs and empowers women living with impairments, represents their interests and supports commissioners for women’s affairs with impairments and their networking in institutions responsible for assistance to persons with disabilities.

The managing office of Weibernetz e.V. can be reached by telephone (00 49 / 561 72 885 310) and e-mail.

Homepage: www.weibernetz.de/en/

   

SUPPORT AND COUNSELLING SERVICES FOR MEN

At the local counselling centres, male survivors of violence find contact persons who listen, give advice and connect them to assistance services - confidentially and free of charge.

Family members, friends or professionals who want to help men affected by violence can also turn to these contact points.

Hilfetelefon „Gewalt an Männern"

The “violence against men” helpline (Hilfetelefon “Gewalt gegen Männer”) is addressed to men who have experienced or are still experiencing violence. Via this helpline, men can get into contact with qualified counsellors free of charge and anonymously. Family, friends or professionals can also contact the “violence against men” helpline to help male survivors of violence. The helpline is accessible throughout Germany.

Contact details of the “violence against men” helpline:

You can contact it:

  • by e-mailing to beratung(at)maennerhilfetelefon.de or
  • by calling 0800 123 990 0 during the following opening hours: Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. as well as Friday 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • by visiting the homepage: www.maennerhilfetelefon.de

Federal Forum for Men - www.Männerberatungsnetz.de

The männerberatungsnetz.de website provides a nationwide overview of counselling services for boys and men. It includes contact points for questions on topics such as violence and partnerships.

By using a search function and entering the post code and search topic, local counselling services can be found quickly and directly.

Services range all the way from one-to-one counselling via self-help groups to moderated men’s groups.

männerberatungsnetz.de is a service provided by the Bundesforum Männer – an interest group for boys, men and fathers.

Homepage: www.maennerberatungsnetz.de

Federal Consulting and Coordinating Centre on Protection from Male-directed Violence

The Federal Consulting and Coordinating Centre on Protection from Male-directed Violence (Bundesfach- und Koordinierungsstelle Männergewaltschutz - BFKM) coordinates the shelters for men in place across Germany. These facilities offer men affected by domestic violence counselling and temporary shelter. The BFKM is working to expand its assistance network.

The site www.maennergewaltschutz.de/hilfe/maennerschutz-und-beratung includes an overview of providers operating safe flats for male survivors of domestic violence with “contact” links.

With its video forum for men (“coma_CoronaMann”), the BFKM also offers assistance and counselling to men amid the coronavirus pandemic. You can register at the men’s video forum by sending an e-mail to coma(at)juma-sachsen.de. Coma - the online forum for men takes place every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. and Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.

“Don’t get beaten up.de” website by Saxony’s Consulting Centre for Work with Men

The website “gib-dich-nicht-geschlagen.de” which roughly translates as “don’t get beaten up”, provides an overview of counselling opportunities for protection from male-directed violence in Saxony. It includes not only the contact partners and contact links of the three safe flats for men, but also addresses victim protection, police protection of victims and services working with perpetrators.

Gib-dich-nicht-geschlagen.de is a service provided by Saxony’s consulting centre for work with men (Landesfachstelle Männerarbeit Sachsen), funded by Saxony’s Ministry of Social Affairs, Department for Equality and Integration (Sächsisches Ministerium für Soziales, Fachbereich Gleichstellung und Integration).

Homepage: www.gib-dich-nicht-geschlagen.de

SKM Federal Association – “Real Men Talk”

The website www.echte-männer-reden.de (“real men talk”) offers a nationwide overview of counselling services for boys and men in crisis. This can be violence against their partner or children - or violence or crises they themselves experienced in the fields of relationships, separation, work or fatherhood. Talking with their counsellors, men can learn to understand the root causes of their crisis and modify their behaviour. "Echte Männer reden" (“Real men talk”) is a service offered by the SKM Bundesverbands e.V.

Counselling can be requested by phone and by e-mail. You can find your local counsellor here https://echte-männer-reden.de/uebersicht-berater/.

Amid the coronavirus crisis, counselling can also be arranged via video.

Homepage: www.echte-männer-reden.de

Federal Anti-discrimination Agency

Any person who has experienced discrimination on account of their age, sex, religion or philosophy, a disability or chronic illness, ethnicity or sexual identity can turn to the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes). This also includes, for instance, sexualised harassment in the workplace.

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency’s counselling team offers those affected initial legal advice on their specific case free of charge so they can decide their further course of action. Requests can also be made anonymously.

Moreover, a search function on the website will find counselling centres nearby. The counselling centre search is also accessible in Easy Language.

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes) answers questions around the General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz - AGG) and provides information material on all matters relating to discrimination and equal treatment - for those affected, employers and employee or worker representatives.

Counselling can be requested by phone (0049 / 30 / 18555 1855), e-mail or in sign language.

Homepage: www.antidiskriminierungsstelle.de/en/

   

HELP AND COUNSELLING FOR PEOPLE WHO INFLICT VIOLENCE

The first step is taking responsibility for violent behaviour: Persons who want to change their violent behaviour towards their partner, family or those around them, can find counselling services throughout Germany. These services help them engage with their own behaviour and to end it for good.

Counselling services for people who inflict violence

The Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Täterarbeit Häusliche Gewalt e.V. (BAG TäHG) (National Working Group on Work with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence) is the German umbrella of institutions that, via interinstitutional cooperation against domestic violence and ex-partner stalking, work with people using violence - irrespective of their gender.

On its website, the BAG TäHG informs people who have become violent in their immediate personal environment about offers of assistance in their area and has developed a safety plan for men engaging in relationship violence. The safety plan is available in four languages on the website www.bag-taeterarbeit.de.

To ensure that you get promptly connected to a member institution near you, the national office can be reached by phone every day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m..


Telephone number: 0049 / 162 139 844 3

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