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Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in Germany

Sharing stories may be hard for survivors of sexual abuse. Maybe it is the first time they are telling anyone about the abuse. Nevertheless, their statements are very important to understand why abuse could not be prevented in the past.

Our core commitment

  • We will listen to survivors and their evidence will not be challenged.
  • We understand that describing their experiences may bring back painful memories.
  • We will not judge them.
  • We will be honest about what we can or cannot do.
  • We guarantee their anonymity, even in the event their experiences will be published in the context of a summary.
  • Each and every story is individual. By coming to terms with these incidents we seek to raise public awareness of this issue!

Independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in Germany.

The inquiry

The Independent Inquiry into Sexual Child Abuse in Germany investigates all forms of child sexual abuse in Germany, such as sexual abuse
in institutions
by family members
by social environment
by unknown o enders
in the context of organised crime

Based on the decision by the German Bundestag of 2 July 2015, the Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues (ICCSAI), Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, appointed the inquiry team on 26 January 2016 for three years until 31 March 2019. On December 12, 2018, the federal government extended its term by a further five years until December 31, 2023. The Commission is independent in its work. Commission members work on an honorary basis.

The commissioners

The Commissioners contribute expertise from various professional fields, such as jurisprudence, pedagogy, social science, psychology, medicine and politics.

  • Sabine Andresen, educational scientist, Chair of the Inquiry
  • Christine Bergmann, Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, retd
  • Peer Briken, sexologist and psychotherapist
  • Barbara Kavemann, social scientist
  • Matthias Katsch, philosopher and consultant
  • Heiner Keupp, social psychologist
  • Brigitte Tilmann, President of the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main, retd

Representative of survivors

Kerstin Claus and Hjördis E. Wirth, members of the survivor council at ICCSAI


Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues
Manuela Stötzel, head of the task force at ICCSAI

What we do

We will investigate where systems have failed to protect children. We want to uncover the strategy behind sexual abuse and what prevented the process of revealing the past. We will listen to survivors of sexual abuse in their child- hood throughout Germany. In this way, we want to provide the possibility of also reporting on statute-barred injustice. We want to give special attention to testimonies of survivors and contemporary witnesses. Looking into the past and revealing the dimensions of sexual violence during childhood is meant to raise public awareness and promote a better communal understanding of child protection.

Private sessions

The private sessions are conducted in an informal setting and in confidential locations. These conversations are not open to the public and the statements are confidential. The private sessions are carried out throughout Germany by the inquiry panel and their consultation team. Survivors may bring along a friend, a family member or another person for support in the hearing. Specialised support services offer help during the hearing when required. The hearing summary, drafted in anonymous form, will be evaluated and fed into our reports.

Written report

In case survivors do not want a private session, they can write down their experiences and send the report via e-mail or by mail. Several questions may help survivors to share the story with the inquiry on our website

Public hearings

Some of the key issues will be examined in detail in public hearings. A public hearing allows survivors to tell their stories in public and improves community awareness of child sexual abuse.

Inquiry hotline

0800 40 300 40

(free of charge and anonymous from Germany)

Office hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

© Copyright - Unabhängige Kommission zur Aufarbeitung sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs 2016