• AStA Viadrina

Sexual assault and rape in 21st century

Trigger Warning: sexual assault and rape


Dear Students, dear teachers, dear staff members,

At the 2018 Erstifahrt a suspected rape occured.

According to police records in 2010 one person was raped every 68 minutes in Germany (https://de.statista.com/.../vergewaltigung-und-sexuelle.../) although the number of unreported cases is significantly higher. Approximately only 15% of the victims report their cases to the police (https://www.frauenrechte.de/.../Sexuelle-Gewalt-in...). From the cases reported roughly 13% end in a conviction which is lower than the European average. In Brandenburg 243 cases about rape and sexualised force were reported in 2017 however the number of unreported cases is unknown (https://www.bka.de/.../04...).

As the AStA (general student committee) we take a stand against all forms of sexual harassment and violence. That means talking about the cases, speaking the truth and not denying the incidents as well as acting in the victims interests. Despite living in the 21st century and having campaigns such as the #metoo campaign sexual assaults and rapes still occur frequently which is why we want to shine a light on this topic and prioritise it more in the future. Sexual assault and rape are still taboo subjects. Too often victims aren’t listened to, aren’t believed and aren’t offered sufficient support and safe spaces. Every time we deny these basic needs to the victims we are signalling the perpetrator that he did not make a mistake and that his actions do not have consequences for him even though the victim has experienced immense physical pain and will have to live with psychological pain all their life. In order to move in the right direction and change for the better as a society and as humanity it is necessary that we talk about these things and give the voice to the victims that they deserve! We encourage every single one of you to talk to your peers about sexual assault, violence and rape, to visit events, discussions, workshops and to seek help when you have been a victim.

The University is supposed to be a safe place and space for EVERYONE! A place where one can learn in a safe, tolerant and respectful environment. The future is influenced and formed at the university and if we do not take such issues seriously now the future doesn’t look bright. Therefore we, the AStA, want to work harder and offer a safety net to victims of sexual violence. It is important to emphasize that no one but the perpetrator is at fault in these cases – we don’t question that in cases of theft either. The number from above shouldn’t and cannot be reduced by adjustments through potential victims such as self-defence but must be minimalised through socialization and education of potential perpetrators. This has to and can start in Kindergarten and needs to be continued at the workplace.

We appeal to each and every one of you to be vigilant and not to look away from incidents of sexual violence. As a society, we must be able to rely on each other and give a voice to those affected, whether or not they decide to file a complaint. This also means questioning fellow students, friends, family and oneself and, if necessary, drawing them to account and giving the victims a helping hand. It is necessary to tell the people around you if they are doing something wrong and not to defend them for such acts.

Due to the ongoing criminal proceedings, no further information on the case is possible.


Womens emergency service: 08000 116 016

Other contacts: https://weisser-ring.de/

University contact: equal opportunities officer, Sahra Damus, 335 5534 4795, gleichstellung@europa-uni.de

The Allgemeiner Studentischer Ausschuss (general students committee)


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