Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Too little protection for children after violence against mothers

The crime statistics for 2020 show around 146,000 cases of domestic violence.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Too little protection for children after violence against mothers

The crime statistics for 2020 show around 146,000 cases of domestic violence. Even if they do not have to endure any violence directly, children are always the victims.

Güstrow (dpa/mv) - According to Deutsche Kinderhilfe, family courts and youth welfare offices rarely have the well-being of the children in mind in custody disputes after domestic violence against mothers. "The courts are hardly based on criminal investigations. The alleged perpetrators can then often continue to have contact with the children," said Rainer Becker from the children's aid before the conference "Contact and custody issues in connection with partner violence" on Tuesday in Güstrow.

"Courts and youth welfare offices are often of the opinion that the child's well-being is more at risk if the child no longer has contact with the father." The question arises as to whether contact with the "dangerous parent" is more important for the child's well-being than the dangers threatening the child, said Becker. Because there is a possibility that the children are confused, influenced or even endanger themselves. Becker referred to international studies, including the sociologist Wolfgang Hammer.

After cases of violence against the mothers, contact with the children must be suspended until the investigations have been completed or the perpetrator has proven that he is no longer dangerous. This can be proven through anti-violence training or psychotherapy, said Becker.

It can also be observed that courts often follow the admissions of violent fathers when they accuse the women of hysteria. "Then, in an unbelievable number of cases, the children are taken away from the mothers."

According to crime statistics, more than 146,000 cases of intimate partner violence were registered in Germany in 2020, with 139 women and 30 men being killed. "With regard to affected children, no separate figures were collected," said Becker. However, it should be noted that at least every fourth homicide against a child was associated with a separation of the legal guardians or with a dispute over custody or rights of access.

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