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It is a touchy subject, even in schools: sexual abuse of children and young people. For years, schools were left with the Problem alone. Some don’t want to put up today for all – day to deal with this because it triggers disgust or teachers feel overwhelmed.

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After all, something is moving. To abuse, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, Independent Representative of the Federal government for issues of sexual child has started in the autumn of the Germany-wide Initiative “schools against sexual violence”. Thus, schools are explicitly asked to concentrate on the subject and to help the affected children and adolescents.

MIRROR ONLINE: Mr Rörig, what teachers can see that children and young people affected by sexual violence?

Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig: The students from the bag often in the performance and change their behaviour. A child who was previously communicative, perhaps suddenly or behaves aggressively. In such cases, it was not the teacher of physics must be to the specialist for cases of sexual violence. But he should talk with colleagues and discuss: What’s going on? It is important that adults show that they care for the students that you will have unpleasant issues an open ear.

MIRROR ONLINE: Many teachers say that you already lack the capacity to be able to all of your students care.

Rörig: no one expected that the individual teacher feels solely responsible. It comes to organise for affected children and young people professional contact, be it from counseling, or school psychologists. In the ideal case, a school has already developed an emergency plan and all of the teachers so trained, that they know what to do and where you can get support.

TO the PERSON DPA, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, independent representative of the Federal government for questions related to child sexual abuse. He has started in the autumn of a nationwide Initiative: “Against sexual violence in schools” – schools receive concrete recommendations for dealing with the issue.

MIRROR ONLINE: What can be the first step?

Rörig: teachers, students, and entrust himself to them, in any case, take it seriously and listen to them. You may ask, but of course, not suggestive, and can record what is being said. How to best learn in training. Teachers do not need to bring incidents immediately to the police, because this can hinder the child’s well-being. Teachers should be in feedback with the school Board of professionals, such as school psychologists, employees of the youth welfare office or from advice centres for victims of sexual abuse, advise, how in the concrete case to proceed.

MIRROR ONLINE: there Are cardinal errors?

Rörig: If the teachers know that there was a sexual Assault, you should confront directly the alleged perpetrators. The could immediately launch a defence strategy and pressure on the child or young person to build on.

MIRROR ONLINE: After the #MeToo debate have some male teachers fear that they might themselves quickly come under false suspicion.

Rörig: Yes, some teachers believe that you are likely to be with a student only when the door is open alone in a room and have no contact with the body more children. This is nonsense. If a child wants to confide in a teacher, it must be under four eyes. And if a primary school child must be crying and comforted, it may take a teacher in the Arm.

MIRROR ONLINE: How can it be ensured that children and adults can assess how much the professional proximity is in order?

Rörig: Each school must make it clear where borders are exceeded and behavior as teachers. For example: A music teacher accidentally touched the breast of a schoolgirl, as he shows her a handle on the violin. Then he needs to apologize to her and the incident of a pre-established trust person short. This creates transparency and security. In the ideal case, a College created together everyday provisions for such situations, which could be exploited for sexual violence, for example changing situations, private contact with students, dealing with photos, or contacts in social networks.

MIRROR ONLINE: such As schools should be set up to prevent sexual violence?

Rörig: For me, the most Important thing is that every school has a climate in which it is clear that Sexual Assault of any kind is a No-Go. Teachers, in the ideal case, the College as a whole, need to show attitude and early intervention. When teachers hear, for example, that students call others sexist, you should say in front of the class: this is something I reject, will not be tolerated at our school. There are still too many teachers, the hide, the hide or incidents to ignore, because it is embarrassed, or because you don’t think this is one of my tasks or can’t hurt. But sexual violence often begins with verbal Assault and may be no longer a taboo subject.

ZahlenWie the scale of the problem? Experts expect high numbers. The world health organization (WHO) estimates that in each school class in Germany to two children of sexual abuse are affected. Perpetrators: members of the own family, neighbors, coaches, teachers, but also other young people, peers. For a study of the German youth Institute (DJI) in 2017, about 4,300 ninth graders were interviewed. The result: 16 percent of the surveyed girls and five percent of boys reported that they have at least once experienced sexual violence with physical contact: she was afflicted about sexually, against the will of kissed, the sexual touching or forced sexual acts. As a culprit in rare cases, members of the school staff were mentioned classmates. Assault took place outside, but also within the school: in the classroom, in the locker room, on the Playground.

MIRROR ONLINE: Sexual violence is not necessarily on the school grounds, but often in social media.

Rörig: I wish me, therefore, that the first class of a school subject “digital media”. Since children and youth must be urgently informed of rules of behavior and risks. Unfortunately, it is not yet available, but teachers should intervene anyway, when cases of sexual violence via WhatsApp, Instagram or other digital media to initiate and you should know what to do if Attacks have already been carried out.

MIRROR ONLINE: It is not sure that teachers know of it at all.

Rörig: studies show that students who have experienced sexual violence or observed, teachers tend to trust, if your school already has with the matter, if, for example, teachers have attended in-service trainings. This is also why it is so important.

MIRROR ONLINE: your Initiative “schools against sexual violence” calls on all schools in Germany to address the issue. A commitment is not associated with it.

Rörig: Some States do not require their schools to appropriate action, other. So we got at least some small steps. But Yes, there is still much to do. My dream is that every school in Germany is only then an operating license, if there is a protection concept against sexual violence and a contingency plan in the case of suspected cases, as each school also has a fire alarm and a fire protection concept must have.