Women who seek help from domestic violence or are afraid for their own children are often left in the lurch in Germany. Because the 400 women's shelters and shelters are completely overcrowded, free spaces are occupied within a few hours. SPD leader Esken wants to remedy the situation.
According to a new study, women's shelters in Germany are overburdened. According to a nationwide data analysis by the investigative medium "Correctiv.lokal", the evaluated women's shelters reported on an average of 303 days in 2022 that admission was no longer possible. According to the information, when a seat became free, it was often occupied again after just a few hours. The evaluation included data from 200 women’s shelters in 13 federal states from 2022. There are a total of around 400 women's shelters and shelters in Germany with almost 8,100 places.
With the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe, which came into force on February 1, 2018, Germany committed itself to preventing and eliminating violence against women. Thousands of women's shelter places are missing according to the guidelines of this agreement. At the beginning of February, SPD leader Saskia Esken announced that there would be an expansion of the help options given the existing gaps in the protection of women from violence. To this end, a nationwide framework for the reliable financing of women's shelters should be created, she said. The help system will be expanded as needed - and the federal government will participate in the regular financing in the future.
In their coalition agreement, the SPD, Greens and FDP 2021 had announced, among other things, a needs-based expansion of the assistance system and the federal government's participation in standard funding. In 2021, according to data from the women’s shelter coordination from November, 6,431 adult residents lived temporarily in women’s shelters.
According to "Correctiv", the situation last year was particularly bad in Hesse, Schleswig-Holstein and Rhineland-Palatinate. Women's shelters were fully booked there on average nine days out of ten. "For every free space we have, about four to five women call every day, so we're always full," Kornelia Wagner-Kokabas from the Bergisch-Gladbach women's shelter is quoted as saying by the research team.
In 2022, "Correctiv" recorded daily on the Frauenhaus-Suche.de website how often women's shelters in Germany were occupied. This website has been online since May 2021 so that women can quickly see which houses have a vacancy. It is operated by the Central Information Office of the Autonomous Women's Shelters (ZIF).