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Third-party-funded project

Experiences with sexual violence of women in Sachsen-Anhalt

Project management at the University of Würzburg:


Experiences with sexual violence of women in Sachsen-Anhalt

Dipl.-Psych. Renate Schieweck, Dr. Heiner Vogel

On behalf of the Ministry for Work, Women, Health and Social Issues of the Province of Sachsen-Anhalt

Background and theoretical questions

At the end of 1999 the Federal Government passed the "Plan of action of the fight against violence against women". As its aim, this agenda had an extensive concept of the fight against violence against women. Accordingly, the province of Sachsen-Anhalt announced a study, in which the number of sexually traumatised women in need of therapy was to be evaluated and a list made of contact persons in Sachsen-Anhalt for these women.


In line with the mission of the province, two questionnaires were developed: (1) the "questionnaire of the degree of experiences with sexual violence of women" and (2) the questionnaire concerning "information pertaining to the institution". These were sent to (amongst others) all advice centres, psychological psychotherapists, medical doctors and hospitals in order to ascertain the situation on a large scale.


On the basis of extensive international research, data regarding the frequency of sexualised violence was obtained. The research indicated that in Sachsen-Anhalt - as in the rest of Germany - every seventh woman experiences at least one instance of sexual violence in the course of her lifetime, i.e. 14,5% of all women (study of the Criminological Research Institute in Niedersachsen). One result of the current, indirect study is that the professionals
reported or suspected that yearly a total of ca. 3.000 women experienced sexual violence. The results are discussed critically with regard to the methodology.

The estimated number of women affected by sexual violence - considered together with the massive consequences for these women and society at large - points to the need for a suitable support system for these women in coping with the traumata.

Key words:
    sexual violence
    questionnaire study

Projekt period: from 03.2001 to 05.2001