Quick Tips and Resources for Survivors of Crime

Quick Tips and Resources for Survivors of Crime

The following information is a quick overview of what you can do if you have been the victim of a crime.

1. If I would like to report a crime, what do I have to do?

  • In a case of an immediate emergency, please always report to the police by calling 110. You can also report a crime in person at a police station or in writing.
  • You can also report online. „Internetwache“ is a an online police presence available to you if you wish to report online.
  • It is a good idea to call the police call center, especially for a preliminary talk with the police. The number is (030) 46644664.
  • For gay, lesbian, transsexual, bisexual, queer, or intersexual victims, specially trained professionals are available with the Berlin Police. The contact number is (030) 4664-979444. E-Mail them here. Further information can be found here

2. I am a victim of crime, who can help me?

Many non-governmental victim/survivor support organisations are also available to you. These services are free and are offered in strict confidence. They can also refer you to specialised lawyers or therapists.
Here is a selection list:

You can also receive help and advice at your local police station. There are officers trained in supporting survivors and victims of criminal activity. For further information you can contact your local police station-Polizeidirektion .

Information about advice and prevention can also be found at the Berliner police headquarters – Polizeipräsidenten in Berlin .

The Office of Health and Social Services offers advice to victims, especially about any benefits you me be entitled to, specifically, pension and medical support. For more information you can click here

The Social Services of the Judicial Department coordinate with the “Opferhilfe Berlin e.V”, which advises victims of crime. The advice is confidential, free, and anonymous upon request. For further information you can click here .

Victims of crime and their next of kin can be offered immediate psychotherapeutic support in Berlin. This is so as to avoid long-term traumatic and medical problems or conditions. Adults can seek help at the Psychiatric University clinic at St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus. Traumaambulanz für Erwachsene

For children and young adults, there is support at the Charite clinic Psychotherapeutic Department: die Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie der Charité.
For more information click on the following link .

The Bar Association of Berlin offers support in your search for the right lawyer. For further information click here

In many Berliner city districts there are civil rights advice centers for lower income people provided through the Citizens Registration Offices. For more information click on the link here .

As a citizen of a foreign country, you also have the possibility of contacting the consulate of your country.

3. Do I have to pay for the support?

Any support services of the Police Department or Public Aid Organizations are free of charge.
If a survivor or victim of a crime needs further support or resources, such as a lawyer, charges may incur. In special cases the Public Aid Organization can provide fees for a first legal visit.
Any legal advisers are required to inform you if legal fees can be paid through government funding. It is highly recommended to ask about the specific costs as they vary greatly from case to case.

4. The police are investigating, what are my rights and how does it go on further?

The police investigation can take a long time depending on the case. Normally, the victim is questioned and asked to give a statement.
You can prepare for this by collecting all documented evidence and documentation as well as medical documents to take with you. You can also take a trusted person for support to this meeting.
For further information regarding giving a statement click here
and here (an info sheet is available in various languages) as well as here .

If the prosecution department decides to press charges, it may take some time for the court to assemble for a hearing.

It is not uncommon for a case to take a year to reach the court.
An investigation can also be completed without a court hearing. The case could be closed by the police or the perpetrator can be charged without a court hearing. You can request to be informed if the case goes to court or if a conviction occurs when you report the crime.
For more information click here.

5. The court appointment is coming up, what to do next?

If you are given notice to attend the court hearing you have to be present. In case of illness you will have to give due notice to the court. Any travel costs and loss of earnings can be reimbursed by the court.
You can have family and friends support you on this date as the courthouse is open to all public.
For security purposes you will have to provide identification to enter the building.
Not all court hearings are open to the public. If you are asked to give your statement to the court you can have a trusted person support you by attending.
If you are worried or afraid, you are not expected to wait outside the courtroom with the perpetrator.
If needed, you can request a separate witness room in advance.
For further information to witness support click here .

6. Do I have further rights?

Victims have further rights depending on each case.
Especially important:

  • Victims can claim compensation (for injuries suffered) and can claim damages. This is not advised in every case. Please seek further advice in advance. You can find out more by clicking here.
  • In some cases victims can apply to be a joint plaintiff . This gives you further rights. By doing this you can attend all of the hearings of the case and be permitted to view the case files. It is essential to get as much information in advance as possible in this case. For further information click here. .
  • In certain circumstances you may be entitled to receive pension payments or paid medical treatment. For more information click here.

7. Am I entitled to know, if the perpetrator is getting out of prison?

Injured victims of crime are entitled to be informed of the circumstances of imprisonment of the convicted party.
You can request to be informed of the parole or release of the convicted party through the Zentrale Auskunftsstelle des Berliner Justizvollzuges (ZASt).
For more information click here .