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Germany: Psychologists warn against misuse of victims of sexual violence in the battle for public opinion

19 Jan 2016

German Professional Federation of Psychologists presses for a solid concept of integration instead of cheap propaganda and overblown legislative debate

Misuse of victims of sexual violence in the battle for public opinion

German Professional Federation of Psychologists BDP presses for a solid concept of integration instead of cheap propaganda and overblown legislative debate

In light of the current controversy, the German Professional Federation of Psychologists is pressing for a return to objectivity and an end to the competition for who can devise the strictest criminal penalties. Instead, what is needed is unsparing disclosure and pursuit of all the paths of inquiry plus, first and foremost, application of the existing laws. “Conjuring up blanket suspicion is of no use to anyone.

Irrespective of the events in Cologne, refugees and migrants need help in integrating, especially in getting a handle on the language. If we demand of them that they should have a clearer understanding of the democratic rule of law, we should also set an example by proceeding with objective debate,” says the Federation’s chairman, Prof. Dr. Michael Krämer. “At present, we’re not giving any helpful object lessons that do any justice to the victims of sexual violence.”

Psychologists and psychotherapists have contact with victims of violence in the course of their advisory or therapy work. As expert witnesses, they also frequently deal with cases of sexual violence. The perpetrators are often from the victim’s own family circle, bosses who abuse their influence, fellow students, mentally disordered or drunken attackers – whatever nationality they may have.

Although the offences perpetrated on New Year’s Eve assumed a new dimension and additional legislation is necessary to ensure the protection of women, Krämer is bold enough to question whether politicians are only now interested in female victims for the simple reason that they can more easily use them to stake a claim in the battle for public opinion. As a democrat, he warns against scoring with a kind of cheap propaganda, including in the social media, that now commixes a range of fears with anxiety about foreigners in general and apprehensions about young males from other countries in particular. “Allowing ourselves to be ruled by fear is not a good alternative. It ought to be self-evident that the culprits need catching and the victims need help. More draconian laws serve no use in and of themselves. Albeit we might have an understandable desire for security, we must uphold our liberal culture,” Krämer concludes.

more: https://www.bdp-verband.de/bdp/presse/2016/01_gewalt.html

 

 

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