Who does this offer of support seek to address?
This offer of support is addressed to everybody who as an adult has experienced violence within Church settings or in religious orders or spiritual communities, i.e. who was an adult at the time of the offences.
What is meant by Church settings?
The abuse has been committed in the context of religious orders, other institutes of consecrated life, spiritual communities, parishes, diocesan institutions, associations, clubs, organisations such as Caritas or during other kinds of encounters in Church settings.
Can what I experienced be called violence?
Violence can take the form of sexualised violence, spiritual or emotional abuse, abuse of power, financial and/or labour exploitation. Such experiences of violence are often only recognised as such because of the psychological effects on those affected. Therefore, your individual feelings are crucial.
What does this Support Centre offer?
This Support Centre provides free and anonymous counselling to aggrieved parties and their relatives after spiritual and/or sexual abuse in Church settings including religious orders, institutes of consecrated life and spiritual communities. The counsellors are committed to listen actively, offer relief, support emotionally, advise and stabilise those concerned. They support aggrieved parties and their relatives in clarifying their wishes, goals and personal resources.
What is the goal of the Support Centre?
The Support Centre aims to show aggrieved parties and their relatives a wide range of practical actions that can be taken and to encourage them to do what is good for them at that present point in time.
With whom will I be in contact?
The Support Centre will facilitate the contact with experienced counsellors. They have different compentencies, among other things in professional counselling, spiritual and pastoral guidance, legal issues and questions of Canon Law within the Catholic Church.
How will I be able to connect to the support?
If you wish a counselling, please go to “Counselling”
If you have other concerns, you can find the individual contact persons under “Contact“.
It may take a few days to respond to your request, since the counsellors only work part-time for the Support Centre.
I need help immediately – what can I do?
If you are in an acute crisis and need immediate help, please contact those who can help you at short notice: Support Hotline “Violence against Women” or TelefonSeelsorge® Deutschland | Sorgen kann man teilen. 0800/1110111 · 0800/1110222 · 116123
(Access via telephone, chat or mail respectively)
I am not a Roman Catholic, can I still contact you?
We offer counselling to everybody who experienced violence in a church, a religious order or a spiritual community, as well as to their relatives.
I experienced violence as a child or as an adolescent – to whom can I turn?
Please contact: https://www.hilfeportal-missbrauch.de
Further information about offers of support for those who have experienced violence as minors: https://www.dbk.de/themen/sexueller-missbrauch/informationen-fuer-betroffene/.
Is this Support Centre accessible to all sexes?
This Support Centre is accessible to all, who have experienced violence in a Church setting, regardless whether they are a woman, a man or diverse.
Can I get in contact to other victims?
We regularly offer meetings for those affected to exchange experiences and to network.
Is there a charge for this offer?
No, this offer is free of charge.
Is my anonymity guaranteed?
Who do I contact in the event of technical problems?
Please contact the Office for Pastoral Care of Women of the German Bishops’ Conference: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I find further information?
“For more information, please visit www.missbrauchsmuster.de.
For the history of the counselling centre, please visit www.frauenseelsorge.de/prävention.html.”
How can I delete my account?
You can delete the user account you created at any time in the “My profile” section. The deletion process cannot be reversed.