Domestic violence on the rise in Germany with one woman killed every three days

The number of victims of domestic violence in Germany is rising, new figures show.

Domestic violence on the rise in Germany with one woman killed every three days
Domestic abuse is rising in Germany. Photo: DPA

Last year 122 women in Germany were killed by their partner or ex-partner, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).

“Every day an attempt takes place, every third day the attempt is actually carried out,” said Family Minister Franziska Giffey, of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), reported Spiegel on Monday.

In total, more than 114,000 women were victims of domestic violence, threats or coercion by their husbands, partners or ex-partners in 2018.

BKA data shows the number of deaths fell by 25 last year compared to 2017. Overall, however, there were more cases of violence. The number rose from 113,965 to 114,393 during this time.

Graph prepared for The Local by Statista

Giffey was set to reveal the latest figures on domestic violence at a presentation in Berlin on Monday. The event is taking place on November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The offences recorded by German police range from bodily harm to murder and manslaughter. Giffey said the figures were alarming – especially as the number of unreported cases is likely even higher.

In 2018, a total of 140,000 people were victims of domestic abuse, the SPD politician said. The proportion of women affected is more than 81 percent.

There were also some 26,000 men who were threatened, coerced or attacked by their partners or ex-partners. There has been an increasing number of male victims in recent years.

What's Germany doing to help victims?

The government is aiming raise awareness and encourage victims of abuse to seek support. A website has been set up with information for victims as part of a nationwide initiative.

Germany also wants to expand its number of refuge centres for women. Nationwide there are currently about 350 women's shelters.

Within the next four years, the government wants to provide €120 million for women's shelters and women's counselling centres. Women affected by violence will be legally entitled to a place in a shelter in future, the government hopes. “This will be our future aim,” said Giffey.

At the moment, however, centres are overcrowded and there are not enough spaces. Giffey said there were gaps in rural areas as well as big cities and the government wanted to address these problems.


Domestic violence – (die) häusliche Gewalt

Violence in relationships – (die) Partnerschaftsgewalt

Bodily harm – (die) Körperverletzung

Murder – (der) Mord

Manslaughter – (der) Totschlag

Attempt – (der) Versuch

Nationwide initiative – (die) bundesweite Initiative

Women's shelters – (die) Frauenhäusern

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.


German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.