Counselling in accordance with the German Protection against Violence Act
The German Protection against Violence Act [Gewaltschutzgesetz - GewSchG] which came into effect on January 1, 2002 improves the legal protection of women and their children exposed to violence. The passing of this law equally improved protective police measures for victims.
Every woman who is the victim of domestic violence has the right to refer immediately to civil protective measures, to protect herself against physical injury, the impairment of health and to safeguard her life.
If you have become the victim of domestic violence and find yourself in a situation which is acutely threatening, the police is able to pronounce a house ban for the perpetrator for up to 10 days directly on site and with immediate effect. This gives you time to consider in a calm state of mind if you wish to refer to the civil protection options extended by the German Protection against Violence Act.
The civil measures can only be applied for at the competent local court (even by summary proceedings). The court then regulates matters such as:
Who will be entitled to the sole use of the common home?
Will an injunction be issued to the offender, ordering him to stay away and refrain from approaching the victim?
The court's decision will be issued as a restraining order and can be limited in time. If the offender infringes the reasons stated in the restraining order, he commits an offence and will be held accountable.