Data and statistics in Germany

Prevalence data and victim surveys
Costs of domestic violence
Age distribution of domestic violence
Number of deaths

Prevalence data and victim surveys

Police Data

Corresponding with the German federal system’s differentiation into federal states (“Bundesländer”), the German police and their respective police laws are applied on a federal level as well. Thus, how police report domestic violence cases or even collect information on domestic violence measures effectiveness depends on the federal state.

Police crime record PKS (Bundeskriminalamt)

The main police database on domestic violence incidents is the crime record “Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik” (PKS) annually provided by the Bundeskriminalamt. The PKS for the Federal Republic of Germany is compiled by the Federal Criminal Police Office on the basis of the state data supplied by the 16 state criminal police offices. The PKS provides information about the circumstances of the crime, suspects, victims and damage.

https://www.bka.de

Criminal prosecution statistics (Bundesamt für Justiz)

The Bundesamt für Justiz provides the criminal prosecution statistics which display the decision-making practice of the criminal courts. Domestic violence is rather “embedded” in crime reports, e.g. when victim and offender are married or when the Protection of Violence Act (Gewaltschutzgesetz) has been violated.

https://www.destatis.de/DE/Publikationen/Thematisch/Rechtspflege/StrafverfolgungVollzug/Strafverfolgung.html?nn=72374

Victim surveys

Early surveys

Until the end of the 1990s only few victim surveys about violence against men and women were carried out (e.g. Wetzels et al., 1995). These studies did not offer information whether violence took place among family members or intimate partners (domestic violence). Only a few small-size studies focusing on domestic violence (e.g. Hirsch & Brendenbach, 1999) were conducted.

Representative studies

The first comprehensive analysis about the nationwide situation of violence against women was published in 2004: “Life situation, security, and health of women in Germany” by  Müller, Schröttle, Hess, & Prussog-Wagner (“Lebenssituation, Sicherheit und Gesundheit von Frauen in Deutschland”, 2004). 10.000 women (aged 16 to 85) were interviewed to have a representative overview on violence against women in different contexts and consequences of violence in Germany. Simultaneously, a pilot study (Jungnitz, 2004) was conducted on violence against men with a similar experimental design. As it was only a pilot study the sample size with 298 interviewees was quite small and therefore not representative for Germany. Another study that should be mentioned was published by Hellmann (2014).

Germany was also one country in the 2014 published study by European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights where 42.000 in-person interviews with a random sample of women across the 28 EU Member States were conducted and 1.200 interviewees from Germany.

http://dx.doi.org/10.15496/publikation-4440

https://www.bmfsfj.de/blob/84664/d5410d1a3bcf2a015cc800331beed6d1/maennerstudie-kurzfassung-gewalt-data.pdf

https://www.bmfsfj.de/blob/84590/a3184b9f324b6ccc05bdfc83ac03951e/studie-gewalt-maenner-langfassung-data.pdf

Specific subsamples in surveys

Between 2004 and 2014 several investigations with various specific subsamples of German domestic violence victims were published, e.g. two studies focussing on violence against women (Schröttle, Hornberg & Glammeier, 2011) and men (Puchert et al., 2013) with impairments and disabilities. Within the domain of home care arrangements, three studies by Görgen and colleagues (Görgen, Bauer & Schröder, 2009; Görgen, Herbst & Rabold, 2009; Nägele et al., 2009) were conducted. Also, secondary analyses of the study by Müller et al. (2004) were carried out with a special emphasis on different victim groups (e.g. Schröttle & Ansorge, 2008; Schröttle & Khelifat, 2008) and also several smaller studies were performed (e.g. Brzank, Hellbernd, Maschewsky-Schneider & Kallischnigg, 2005).

https://www.bmas.de/DE/Service/Medien/Publikationen/Forschungsberichte/Forschungsberichte-Teilhabe/fb435.html

https://www.bmfsfj.de/blob/94206/1d3b0c4c545bfb04e28c1378141db65a/lebenssituation-und-belastungen-von-frauen-mit-behinderungen-langfassung-ergebnisse-der-quantitativen-befragung-data.pdf

https://www.bmfsfj.de/blob/94186/727885d90cc7178a738226f533bce61d/kriminalitaets-gewalterfahrungen-leben-alter-menschen-langfassung-data.pdf

https://www.bmfsfj.de/blob/93964/588d6d5da075d2803f8696dfbbe3d35c/gesundheit-gewalt-migration-langfassung-studie-data.pdf

Further reading on survey data

Nägele, B., Kotlenga, S., Görgen, T., & Mauder, B. (2009). Ambivalente Nähe: Eine qualitative Interviewstudie zur Viktimisierung Pflegebedürftiger in häuslichen Pflegearrangements [Ambivalent nearness: A qualitative interview study on the victimisation of people requiring care in home care arrangements]. In Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (ed.), “Sicherer Hafen” oder “gefahrvolle Zone”? Kriminalitäts- und Gewalterfahrungen im Leben alter Menschen. Ergebnisse einer mulitlethodalen Studie zu Gefährdungen älterer und pflegebedüftiger Menschen

Görgen, T., Herbst, S., & Rabold, S. (2009). Jenseits der Kriminalstatistik: Befund einer bundesweiten Opferwerdungsbefragung [Beyond crime statistics: Findings of a nationwide victimization survey]. In Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (ed.), “Sicherer Hafen” oder “gefahrvolle Zone”? Kriminalitäts- und Gewalterfahrungen im Leben alter Menschen. Ergebnisse einer mulitlethodalen Studie zu Gefährdungen älterer und pflegebedüftiger Menschen

Görgen, T., Bauer, R., & Schröder, M. (2009). Wenn Pflege in der Familie zum Risiko wird: Befunde einer schriftlichen Befragung pflegender Angehöriger [When family care becomes a risk: Findings of a written survey of caring relatives]. In Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (ed.), “Sicherer Hafen” oder “gefahrvolle Zone”? Kriminalitäts- und Gewalterfahrungen im Leben alter Menschen. Ergebnisse einer multimethodalen Studie zu Gefährdungen älterer und pflegebedüftiger Menschen

Schröttle & Ansorge (2008). Gewalt gegen Frauen in Paarbeziehungen Eine sekundäranalytische Auswertung zur Differenzierung von Schweregraden, Mustern, Risikofaktoren und Unterstützung nach erlebter Gewalt [Violence against women in intimate relationships. Secondary analysis in order to differentiate severities, patterns, risk factors and support after experiencing violence]

Schröttle & Khelaifat (2008). Health- Violence – Migration. Secondary analysis of the violence situation under health aspects of women with and without migrant background  [Gesundheit – Gewalt– Migration: Eine vergleichende Sekundäranalyse zur gesundheitlichen Gewaltsituation von Frauen mit und ohne Migrationshintergrund in Deutschland. Ein Forschungsprojekt des Interdisziplinären Zentrum für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung(IFF) der Universität Bielefeld im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für Familie, Senioren Frauen und Jugend]

Ohms, C. (2006). Broken Rainbow. Gewalt gegen Lesben und häusliche Gewalt in lesbischen Zusammenhängen – Auswertung der Erhebungsbögen der Lesbenberatungsstellen und Lesbentelefone. [Violence against lesbians and domestic violence in lesbian contexts – Evaluation of questionnaires from lesbian counselling centres and lesbian telephones]

Böhm, K. (2006). Beziehungsgewalt in unverheirateten Partnerschaften [Violence in unmarried relationships]. Dissertation at Universität Freiburg

Brzank,  Hellbernd, Maschewsky-Schneider & Kallischnigg(2005). :  Domestic Violence against Women and supply needs. Interview results of women at a first-aid station [Häusliche Gewalt gegen Frauen und Versorgungsbedarf. Ergebnisse einer Befragung von Patientinnen einer Ersten Hilfe/Rettungsstelle]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 48.39: 337-345

Bundesministeriums für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (2005). Gender-Datenreport. 1. Datenreport zur Gleichstellung von Frauen und Männern in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland [Gender Data Report: First Data Report on equality between women and men in the Federal Republic of Germany]

Jungnitz (2004). Violence against men in Germany, pilot study on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth [Gewalt gegen Männer in Deutschland, Pilotstudie im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend]

Forschungsverbund Gewalt gegen Männer (ed. 2004). Gewalt gegen Männer in Deutschland. Personale Gewalterfahrnisse von Männern in Deutschland. Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend

Müller, U., Schröttle, M., Hess, D., Prussog-Wagner, A. (2004). Lebenssituation, Sicherheit und Gesundheit von Frauen in Deutschland.[ Life situation, security and health of women in Germany]. BMFSJ (ed.)

Lüdtke, J. & Lamnek, S. (2002). Schläge in jeder dritten Familie [Beatings in every third family]. AGORA Magazin der Katholischen Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, 18(1), 8-9

Hirsch & Brendenbach (1999). Violence against elderly in families. Results of the “Bonner HsM-Study” [Gewalt gegen alte Menschen in der Familie. Untersuchungsergebnisse der „Bonner HsM-Studie“.] In: Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, Jg. 32/1999, H. 6, S. 449–455


Costs of domestic violence

Prof. Dr. Sylvia Sacco presented the first Germany-wide domestic violence cost study (Sacco, Sylvia: Häusliche Gewalt Kostenstudie für Deutschland, Gewalt gegen Frauen in (ehemaligen) Partnerschaften, 2017). The study, which compiles direct and indirect costs, comes to a total cost of at least 3.8 billion euros per year. The cost per person of working age is 74 euros per year. The costs were collected in three different categories. So-called directly tangible costs (€ 1,043.8 million), which are incurred, for example, through police operations, court hearings, support offers or in the healthcare sector, are offset by indirectly tangible costs (€ 2,756.5 million) such as unemployment or trauma costs for children. In addition, intangible costs are under discussion, to which no direct monetary equivalent can be assigned, and which arise in addition to the reported costs. This also includes the loss of quality of life due to illness.

https://www.b-tu.de/news/artikel/13210-kosten-haeuslicher-gewalt-in-deutschland/


Age distribution of domestic violence

The current crime statistics analysis on intimate partner violence by the Federal Criminal Police Office shows that a total of 140,755 people were victims of intimate partner violence in 2018. 114,393 (81,3%) victims were female and 26.362 (18,7%) male.

The statistics recorded the following attempted or completed crimes:

  • Intentional, simple assault: 85.685 (60,9%)
  • Dangerous bodily harm: 17.247 (12,3%)
  • Threat, stalking, coercion: 32.376 (23,0%)
  • Sexual assault and rape: 3.136 (2,2%)
  • Deprivation of liberty: 1.806 (1,3%)
  • Murder and homicide: 421 (0,3%)

129,419 (91.9%) victims were adults (aged 21 and over), of whom 104,146 (80.5%) were women and 25,273 (19.5%) men. Victims of the 30- to 39-year-old age group (45,285 people; 32.2%) were most frequently affected, followed by those in the 40- to 49-year-old age group (26,216 people; 18.6%). As the age groups are sorted in ascending order, the percentage of female victims gradually decreases (<21: 90.4%; 21 <25: 86.6%; 25 <30: 83.7%, 30 <40: 82.0%; 40 < 50: 78.4%; 50 <60: 70.7%; from 60: 68.0%).

The crime statistics show to what extent violence in intimate relationships became known to the police. It describes the known cases of intimate partner violence.

https://www.bmfsfj.de/bmfsfj/themen/gleichstellung/frauen-vor-gewalt-schuetzen/haeusliche-gewalt/haeusliche-gewalt/80642

https://www.bka.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Publikationen/JahresberichteUndLagebilder/Partnerschaftsgewalt/Partnerschaftsgewalt_2018.html?nn=63476

The European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) published the study “Violence against women. An EU-wide survey” in 2014. For this study, around 42,000 women between the ages of 18 and 74 were interviewed about their experiences with violence in the 28 member states. In Germany there were 1,534 women. Around one in three women said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence at least once since they were 16 years old.

  • Experience of physical and/or sexual violence by a partner in the past 12 months before the interview
    • Age group 18-29: yes = 4%; no = 96%
    • Age group 30-39: yes = 6%; no = 94%
    • Age group 40-49: yes = 4%; no = 96%
    • Age group 50-59: yes = 3%; no = 97%
    • Age group 60+: yes = 1%; no = 99%
  • Experience of controlling behaviour by a partner since the age of 15
    • Age group 18-29: yes = 41%; no = 59%
    • Age group 30-39: yes = 52%; no = 48%
    • Age group 40-49: yes = 44%; no = 56%
    • Age group 50-59: yes = 37%; no = 63%
    • Age group 60+: yes = 30%; no = 70%
  • Experience of economic violence by a partner since the age of 15
    • Age group 18-29: yes = 6%; no = 94%
    • Age group 30-39: yes = 12%; no = 88%
    • Age group 40-49: yes = 12%; no = 88%
    • Age group 50-59: yes = 13%; no = 87%
    • Age group 60+: yes = 10%; no = 90%
  • Experience of psychological abuse which involved abusive behaviour by a partner since the age of 15
    • Age group 18-29: yes = 34%; no = 66%
    • Age group 30-39: yes = 41%; no = 59%
    • Age group 40-49: yes = 44%; no = 56%
    • Age group 50-59: yes = 40%; no = 60%
    • Age group 60+: yes = 32%; no = 68%

The study by Hellmann (2014; Representative survey about experiences with victimization in Germany shows the following data.

Female & male victims
Victim’s age 16-200,6%
Victim’s age 21-302,2%
Victim’s age 31-403,9%

Lifetime prevalence of experiencing domestic violence by a partner
Female & male victims
Victim’s age 16-2011,5%
Victim’s age 21-3016,2%
Victim’s age 31-4015,6%

Lifetime prevalence of experiencing stalking

Police data by the Bundeskriminalamt (ed., 2018; Partnerschaftsgewalt. Kriminalstatistische Auswertung – Berichtsjahr 2017.) show the following age distribution of male and female victims of domestic violence.

No. of male victimsNo. of female victims
Victim’s age up to 209609,910
Victim’s age 21-241,95013,539
Victim’s age 25-293,57519,807
Victim’s age 30-397,23934,018
Victim’s age 40-495,70619,970
Victim’s age 50-593,1998,361
Victim’s age 60+1,4953,351

https://www.bmfsfj.de/bmfsfj/themen/gleichstellung/frauen-vor-gewalt-schuetzen/haeusliche-gewalt/haeusliche-gewalt/80642

https://fra.europa.eu/de/publication/2014/gewalt-gegen-frauen-eine-eu-weite-erhebung-ergebnisse-auf-einen-blick


Number of deaths

The current crime statistics analysis on intimate partner violence by the Federal Criminal Police Office shows that a total of 140,755 people were victims of intimate partner violence in 2018.

The victims were most often victims of intentional simple bodily harm (85,685 people; 60.9%), followed by threat, stalking and coercion (32,376 people; 23.0%) and dangerous, serious bodily harm or death (17,247 people in total; 12.3%). 3,136 people were victims of sexual assault and rape (2.2%). A total of 1,806 victims (1.3%) were registered in the area of deprivation of liberty. 421 people were victims of murder and homicide (0.3%), when the murder and homicide was completed 142 victims, including 24 male and 118 female, were recorded. 50 victims were registered in the forced prostitution area and 34 in the pimp area.

The crime statistics show to what extent violence in intimate relationships became known to the police. It describes the known cases of intimate partner violence.

https://www.bka.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Publikationen/JahresberichteUndLagebilder/Partnerschaftsgewalt/Partnerschaftsgewalt_2018.html?nn=63476