About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us

Germany: Rape Convictions Fall Sharply

by Kathy Jones on April 19, 2014 at 7:56 PM
 Germany: Rape Convictions Fall Sharply

A national study has revealed that rape victims in Germany are finding it increasingly difficult to see their assailants convicted.

Twenty years ago, the percentage of reported sexual violence cases leading to a guilty verdict and sentencing was at about one in five.


But by 2012, the ratio had tumbled to one in 12, according to the study conducted by the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony (KFN).

"These findings are problematic for a state built upon the rule of law," the authors of the study said in a statement.

Case overloads in the criminal justice system, a rise in reported rapes within families and a federal court ruling setting a much higher standard of proof have made it harder for victims to put their attackers behind bars.

The institute found that the authorities were often overwhelmed with accusations of sex crimes, with strong variation from region to region.

"The greater the workload for police officers, prosecutors and courts, the less frequently the trial ends in a conviction of the perpetrator," they said.

The authors found that jail time was a deterrent, noting that the higher the conviction rate for rape in a region, the lower the number of reported rapes.

The number of sex crimes allegedly committed by relatives, partners and acquaintances soared to nearly 28 percent of all cases in 2012 from 7.4 percent in 1994.

The authors attributed this rise in part to a legal change in 1998 making rape within a marriage a crime.

But they said such cases were harder to prove in court, despite major advances in DNA profiling.

"The accused men usually admit to having had sexual intercourse but say that it was consensual," they said, leading to "he said, she said" testimony.

The authors also highlighted a federal court ruling from 2006 where the judges overturned a rape conviction in which the defendant ripped the woman's clothes off and had sex with her against her "explicitly expressed will".

"Since this ruling, there have been several cases in which prosecutors and courts have interpreted rape laws in a similarly rigid way," they said, noting that women's rights groups had launched a petition calling for legislative reform.

Source: AFP
Font : A-A+



Recommended Readings

Latest General Health News

Wild Poliovirus Resurfaces in Pakistan
The Pakistan Ministry has announced the commencement of a nationwide polio vaccination campaign beginning on October 2, aiming to immunize more children.
US Woman Loses All Limbs in Fish-Related Bacterial Outbreak
In a tragic incident, a woman in the US experienced the loss of all her limbs as a result of a bacterial outbreak linked to the consumption of contaminated fish.
NIH Launches the First In-Human Universal Flu Vaccine Trial
FluMos-v2, a unique universal influenza vaccine candidate, undergoing a phase 1 trial at NIH, increases recipients' immunity against many influenza viruses.
Global Polio Eradication Initiative Assesses Vaccination Strategies in Pakistan
In Pakistan, the polio campaign focuses on more than 270,000 children under the age of five years, residing in areas with insufficient vaccine coverage.
Diagnostic Errors: The Rocky Road to Life-threatening Health Complications
Dangers of Wrong Diagnosis: Diagnostic errors in healthcare can increase the risk of permanent disabilities and deaths.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
Greetings! How can I assist you?MediBot

Germany: Rape Convictions Fall Sharply Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests