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Have you experienced sexual abuse, assault or harassment? Get confidential support from a hotline in Germany

Sexual abuse is when one person forces another person into sexual behavior, without that person's consent. It is a type of sexual violence, which is any sexual activity without consent. This includes sexual assault (such as unwanted touching or rape) and sexual harassment (unwelcome or offensive sexual behavior).

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse, assault or harassment, you might be experiencing intense rage and fear, or you may feel numb. There are 9 hotlines in Germany who support the victims of sexual violence. Consider getting some support if you recognize any of the following:

Examples of sexual violence:

  • Being used sexually in a way that is humiliating
  • Being spoken to in a sexual way that you find offensive or degrading
  • Someone making degrading or offensive comments about your body or sexuality, or using sexual terms and language in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable
  • Being exposed to a violent, hurtful sexual act without your permission
  • Being kissed or touched without your consent or being made, by coercion or force, to touch or kiss someone
  • Sexual photos or videos being posted online without your consent
  • Being coerced, threatened or forced to perform any sort of sexual activity
  • Being filmed or photographed nude or in a sexually explicit way without your permission

Effects of sexual violence:

  • Having flashbacks about the sexual abuse
  • Changes (either loss or increase) in your appetite
  • Avoidance of anything that reminds you of the sexual abuse
  • A decline in your physical and mental health
  • Feeling edgy and fearful, especially around people who resemble the abuser in any way
  • Feeling ashamed for what occurred
  • An urge to use alcohol, drugs, or gamble excessively
  • Feeling unsafe and scared that it would happen again

Sexual violence could provoke many ways of coping, some more and some less healthy. You may go through many different feelings, responses, and stages of recovery until you fully heal.

Surviving and recovering from sexual violence can be a very lonely process. Especially if you struggle with all the different thoughts and emotions that you’re having a hard time controlling. This is why reaching out to helpline staff in Germany could help you feel less isolated.

If you are victim of sexual abuse, assault or harassment, consider contacting a helpline in Germany for free, confidential help.


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