Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has announced an initiative to better protect women from violence. “Criminal consequences and bans on contact between the perpetrators and the women affected are not yet enough. We need further measures so that the perpetrators stop their aggressive behavior and actually change,” the SPD politician told the newspapers of the Funke media group.

Faeser wants to orientate itself on Austria. “Anyone who is banned from entering the apartment or approaching the woman concerned must take part in measures to prevent violence,” said the minister. Anyone who doesn’t do so will receive severe penalties. “In Germany, too, we must supplement the contact bans according to the Violence Protection Act accordingly and make them more effective.” She will talk about this with Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP).

Stalking and psychological terror

“Violence against women should not leave anyone indifferent,” warned Faeser. “Every four minutes a woman in Germany is a victim of violence by her partner or ex-partner. Every third day a woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner.” Behind each of these cases lies the horror of being attacked in the closest surroundings, where one should actually feel safest. And violence doesn’t just start with beatings or abuse, it also includes stalking and psychological terror.

In Austria, according to the information, a violent perpetrator who is banned from contact must visit a violence prevention counseling center within five days. A corresponding consultation must take place within 14 days and last at least six hours. Violations of the order can result in a fine of up to 5,000 euros or a substitute prison sentence of up to six weeks.

In Germany, however, participation in a so-called perpetrator program can currently only be ordered in criminal and family law proceedings. According to the information, consultations are offered in 89 facilities nationwide.