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Germany: Cases of child abuse increasing in numbers

In Germany, authorities are being overwhelmed by cases of child abuse taking on a new rise. This is especially because protection mechanism fail to kick in sooner rather than later for victims.

News of a child abuse ring sparked outrage and disgust among people as at least three children aged 5, 10 ad 12 were abused repeatedly over a period of several months. The filmed of their vulnerability distributed s child pornography via the darknet.

While investigations have been held leading to the arrest of several people, the system is yet to be full proof.

An intriguing case at the centre of this latest case is a 27-year old IT technician who was using his mother’s summer house in the western city of Münster as a crime site. The mother, a 45-year-old kindergarten teacher, allegedly knew what was going on there.

The main suspect had been convicted on charges of possessing child pornography twice. One of the most recent victims is his girlfriend’s ten-year-old son. Several years ago social workers in the local child welfare office flagged the boy’s situation to the family court, suggesting that the two-time sex offender may pose a threat to him. But the court decided against placing the child in custody, arguing that the mother’s boyfriend lived in a different house.

Across Germany there are over 550 welfare offices that have the mandate to intervene when children need protection and provide help to families. In 2018 there were over 50,000 such interventions which is a 10% increase from the year before while most were neglect and not abuse. Germany’s family law make it difficult to remove a child from its family.

Read more information on German Laws and legislation here: Legal News and Guides – Germany

Perpetrators tend to be family members, friends, or neighbours — and thus it is often very difficult for the children to report such crimes. Often the child’s mothers are in the know, but fail to protect their children. German crime statistics for 2019 show 25,000 cases of child abuse and over 12,000 investigated cases of child pornography, which was a rise of 65% from 2018.