Germany records sharp increase in reports of domestic violence

Germany records sharp increase in reports of domestic violence

With rates already having increased during the coronavirus pandemic, Germany has seen another sharp rise in domestic violence cases being reported to the police. Meanwhile, the country is short of available refuge spots to help those escaping abuse.

Reports of domestic violence on the rise in Germany

Germany recorded a sharp increase in the number of reported domestic violence cases in 2022, police announced on Tuesday. Last year there were 240.547 cases of domestic violence reported, in which 71,1 percent of victims were women and 28,9 percent were men. According to the annual report, 76,7 percent of the perpetrators were men and 23,7 percent were women. Overall, the number of reported cases is 8,5 percent higher than it was in the previous year.

In two-thirds of cases, victims and perpetrators were involved in an intimate relationship. This includes a romantic relationship that was ongoing and also relationships that had ended at the time when the report was made. In 60 percent of cases, victims were abused by current partners and in 40 percent of cases they were targeted by ex-partners. 

The figures come just a month after Funke newspaper published the results of a survey which found that more than one-third of men in Germany between the ages of 18 and 35 believe that it is “acceptable” if “their hand slipped” during a dispute with a woman partner.

In other cases, the relationship between victim and abuser was familial; 37 percent of victims were the children or grandchildren of their abuser. Overall, details of the reports reveal a sharp rise in rape, sexual coercion and assault.

702 of the cases reported in 2022 led to homicide or attempted homicide. Of these cases, 58 men and 181 women were fatally injured.

Faeser encourages more victims to come forward

The latest statistics were presented by German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, Family Minister Lisa Paus and President of the Federal Criminal Police Office, Holger Münch.

“Violence doesn't just start with beatings or abuse, it's also about stalking and psychological terror,” said Faeser. “We want to strengthen those affected and encourage them to report their crimes. This is the only way that more perpetrators can be held criminally responsible. We have to help to break the silence."

Paus emphasised that it is important that victims of domestic violence have a safe place to go to escape abusive partners. Since 2018, Germany has been part of the Istanbul Convention, a legally binding document designed to “prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence”. 

According to the convention, Germany requires space for 21.500 victims at domestic violence refuge centres in order to meet demand. Currently, there are only 15.000 spaces across the country. Services shortages vary across federal states, but facilities in rural areas are the worst affected.

Information about how to seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence in Germany can be found on Federal Ministry for Family Affairs website or by calling 116 016.

Thumb image credit: Dean Drobot /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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