What does critical reappraisal mean?

Critical reappraisal

Critical reappraisal should uncover past injustices. Critical reappraisal starts with the experiences of people who were subjected to sexualised violence during their childhood and adolescence. Their reports make it possible to openly identify the extent and consequences of sexual abuse in Germany and to investigate which structures have made sexualised violence possible. Critical reappraisal aims to clarify why child sexual abuse was concealed or hushed up and to identify ways out of this silence.

Critical reappraisal cannot replace the legal clarification of criminal offences or the individual processing of trauma through therapy. However, critical reappraisal makes the injustice of the past an issue of the present. The objective of critical reappraisal is to provide society with a better understanding of the dimensions of child sexual abuse so that children can live safely in the future.

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The inquiry into child sexual abuse should:

  • End the silence
  • Uncover acts
  • Identify the consequence survivors facen
  • Identify the structures that have abetted sexual abuse and prevented detection.
  • Report and develop recommendations.
  • Recognise injustice and develop formats for remembering it.
  • Draft conclusions for the present and the protection of children and adolescents today.
The trust and courage that the survivors show in contacting the Inquiry is our greatest asset. We would like to thank each and every one of them for this.
Barbara Kavemann, inquiry member

Looking into the past

Julia Gebrande, the chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Issues, explains in the video what the Inquiry understands by the term “reappraisal” and why it is important to look back into the past.

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