"Incredible deeds": DSV apologizes to abuse victims

An ARD documentary brings serious allegations by the former world-class water jumper Jan Hempel to the general public.

"Incredible deeds": DSV apologizes to abuse victims

An ARD documentary brings serious allegations by the former world-class water jumper Jan Hempel to the general public. Hempel says he confided in people in his association decades ago. The consequences remain clear. That should change now.

The German Swimming Association (DSV) has apologized to the victims in a statement after the latest allegations of abuse. "We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to all people who have ever had to experience violence, whether physical, mental or sexual, in German swimming," says a DSV statement: "Unfortunately, we can do actions from the past cannot undo it, but as those currently responsible, we are doing everything in our power to prevent such incredible acts now and in the future."

As a concrete measure, the DSV board has been demanding statements from all those responsible for the association since 1997 "to find out whether there was knowledge of Jan Hempel's allegations". In the ARD documentary "Abused - Sexualized Violence in German Swimming", the former world-class water jumper Hempel reports on allegations of sexual abuse against his ex-coach Werner Langer, who has died in the meantime.

The association also pointed out that the prevention of violence today has a "much higher priority" in the DSV than in previous decades. Since the latest allegations became known, the prevention officer, Franka Weber, has contacted everyone named in the ARD report, made an offer of help and asked for more information. The association also assured that the information on various cases that had been received in the past three days would be “resolutely followed up”, “because silence always protects the wrong people”.

The current DSV board assured "that any reports in the field of sexualised violence have been recorded since he took office" and "with great commitment by Ms. Weber" have been processed in accordance with the prevention concept that has existed since 2019. However, the DSV also emphasized that prevention in sport "is difficult to manage in voluntary work". The association therefore joined the call for an independent contact point "including the necessary financial support from the public sector".

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