Child Sex Abuse
Adults and young persons aged 14 or older are punishable by law if they perform sexual acts on girls or boys under the age of 14 or if they get girls or boys under the age of 14 to perform sexual acts on them.
Acts of sexual abuse begin with sexual attacks such as verbal abuse and extend from sexual language to the touching of intimate areas and aggressive sexual violence.
However, showing children pornographic images or looking at them together, exposing one’s genitals and manipulating sexual organs are also acts of sexual abuse according to the German Criminal Code if an adult or a young person does so in front of a child. Such acts are also liable for prosecution where the child ostensibly consented to them.
The sexual abuse of young persons will result in criminal proceedings where the sexual acts are committed by persons on whom young persons are dependent, for example, family members, at school, at church, at sport clubs or where young persons are apprenticed.
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The following websites provide detailed information about the criminal offence of child sex abuse, the methods employed by offenders, recognisable signs that child sex abuse is taking place as well as advice about what do if it is suspected, the rights and entitlements of particularly vulnerable children and help and support services.
The Ministry of Education has provided information about sexual violence in school for teachers, school management teams and other school employees on the education portal for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.