Why would someone rape a child?

Raped as a child - There is no money for her pain

from report: Andreas Lange

Chancellor Schröder did not take into account in his words that most sexual assaults occur in the family or in close circle of friends. Child molester - "lock up forever" - that is too easy to say in such cases, because these victims find it particularly difficult to report their fathers, uncles or friends of the family. The perpetrators therefore mostly get away with it. And - if the victims do manage to face the horrors of their past, then it is usually too late.

In her family album, all the photos of the father have been torn out and replaced. When Miriam was nine years old, he raped her the first time, and then almost every day. The mother was silent and looked away. Even in the nursery, Miriam wasn't safe from her father.

Miriam D. remembers: "Yes, and then he pushed the door open, and then he was inside. Then he fell upon me, tore my clothes off, threw me on the floor, got his pants up to the floor Kneel down, and then he abused me. Afterwards he said: You only got what you deserved, and woe betide you open your mouth, then something will happen. "

It went on like this for many years until she finally fled her parents' house at 18. Miriam pushed the memories aside. She married and had two children of her own. Life seemed to be getting normal. But the past caught up with her again: "I got breathlessness, I had fainting spells three times a week, nausea, vomiting, stomach problems, migraines - all of that. Yes, and then my family doctor at the time said I would somehow suppress something , I should do some therapy. "

Only then did she slowly begin to remember what had happened. The horrors of childhood came up, and with them the anger. Miriam went to the lawyer. Together they tried to reconstruct the deeds in order to sue the father - more than twenty years after the rape.

The lawyer Frank Egermann explains: "With her I would say that she certainly had individual pictures of these experiences at that time, but that it took a long time before we could go to the police and make a complete statement that she was able to tell what happened there in context and in chronological order. "

Then finally it came to trial. After four excruciating court dates for Miriam, the father confessed to part of the crime. But he only got two years - on probation, also because the events were so long ago and the only witness, her mother, continued to be silent.

The confrontation with the past and the consequences. Miriam suddenly lost all of her teeth in her mid-thirties. Today she is severely disabled and receives a pension from the state. But her father, who is to blame for everything, doesn't have to pay a penny, even though he owns a ship worth millions, for example. A lawsuit for compensation was denied.

Miriam D .: "I also thought, first he'll take you and destroy your life, and he'll be rewarded as well. I get a pension, but still, I guess, because he didn't have to pay pain and suffering he laughed up his sleeve. "

Her right to compensation was statute-barred. Victims of rape by their parents have only three years from the age of majority to sue under civil law. But very few do that at this age.

Egermann: "These people are often so relationally disturbed and their whole personality is destroyed by the perpetrators in the long term, it can be said that they are not in a position to know what they want at all. They need a tremendous amount of time to even begin to be told what they might want and then find out what their own part is in it. "

In addition, there are the close ties that children have with their parents, even in adulthood. And so the perpetrators use the weakness and shame of their victims - often for a lifetime.

Those who could help the victims sit in the Federal Ministry. But there one sees no need for action to give the victims more than three years.

Thomas Weber from the Federal Ministry of Justice makes a piquant comparison: "This is the general limitation period in liability law, as it also applies to traffic accidents, for example. This has proven itself, and it serves to ensure the safety of legal traffic."

Lawyer Egermann argues differently: "My argument against it is that I say that our children need special protection and the Basic Law, Article 6, also gives us the duty to do something like this, and also gives us the option of an exception for children to allow them to be able to assert civil law claims at all. "

Even when these children have grown up. And so the victims who are raped by their parents have little chance of getting compensation. What remains is hate.

Miriam D. had a dream: "A few weeks ago I dreamed that I killed him. Then I saw everything. The whole room was covered in blood, and I stood bent over him with a knife in my hand and got 'Stabbed him. After that I felt somehow liberated. But unfortunately it wasn't real, it was just a dream. "