help survivors get their rights

Petition Norbert Denef
Sexual abuse means the end of childhood. Survivors often need years to be able to talk about their ordeals let alone to fight for their rights. The limitation period of sexual abuse in civil law in Germany prevents for many survivors to ever get justice.

Norbert Denef a survivor of sexual abuse in a catholic diocece created this petition and fights to repeal the limitation period for many years.

The German government declined his petition against the Limitation Period.  But he does not give up. He appealed at the European Court for Human Rights against that decision.  More than ever he needs your help and your signature to repeal a legislation that helps the abuser but not the survivor.

Please help survivors to get their rights!

We the undersigned want to repeal the limitation of sexual abuse in civil law, so that victims of sexual abuse do not need to remain quiet about the crimes done to them.

The term "sexual abuse" is deceptive as it is used in current legislation: Sexual abuse is violence that inflicts long-term psychological damage. Society needs to be informed about these long-term implications. Experts and victims can and will testify that victims often need decades to talk about what was done to them. We want the government to accept this fact as well as the life-long damage done by sexual abuse.

The offenders are the ones who are protected by the limitation period for sexual abuse in German Civil Law, as it often takes victims decades to manage talking about the crime. When they do speak about the crimes done to them after the limitation period, they have to fear libel action. Through this situation, the legislation promotes the victims silence and thereby prevent their healing process. The limitation period violates human rights.

Sexual abuse marks the end of childhood and the beginning of life-long suffering of body and soul. The victims silence, inflicted by the current law, amplifies feelings of guilt and shame, thereby making the crime a taboo in society. Victims break when they can not express their suffering in words freely and openly.

Thank you for reading our letter!

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