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WEISSER RING publishes a Draft for a new Victim Compensation Act

By September 3, 2018February 1st, 2021News

For several years, there is a movement to improve compensation for victims of crime in Germany. As the only federal Victim Support Organization in Germany with more than 40 years of experience in victim support and the Victim Compensation Law, WEISSER RING has decided to actively take part in this process.

For this purpose WEISSER RING developed a draft of a Social Compensation Act oriented to the actual needs of victims. The well established Federal War Victims Compensation Act (BVG) and the Crime Victim Compensation Act (OEG) were combined in one draft bill and recent developments were taken into account.

There are a lot of positive aspects in the existing law which were maintained:

E.g., the right to curative treatment according to OEG/ BVG clearly exceeds the right of statutory health insurance. The benefits are determined according to the actual needs in every single case. The social compensation authority can assume responsibility for the curative treatment and is then not bound to the limits of statutory health insurance. Amongst other things, not only the kind of psychotherapeutic treatment, but also a higher number of hours, special treatment methods or special benefits for curative treatment are then possible.

Furthermore, the curative treatment benefits are not listed and therefore are not exhaustive.

Also the pension benefits according to the existing OEG/ BVG provide social security. These are only a few positive examples.

In the draft of WEISSER RING, the time-proven provisions of BVG und OEG have been maintained and further developed. As a result, the validity of the jurisdiction is preserved upon which the interpretation of legal standards has been based for decades; this guarantees legal certainty to persons who have suffered damage.

But still there is a gap.

Victims of violent crimes only receive benefits according to OEG, if they have sustained damage through physical assault. No benefits are thus granted if psychological violence has been exercised to commit the crime. For this reason, victims of “stalking” are not compensated. Stalking that goes on for years can cause significant health issues and psychological illnesses. Such victims currently have no further claim to curative treatment. If they are no longer able to do their jobs (or do them at the previous level) due to the psychological burdens, they lack the social security of the OEG/BVG.

But apart from few exceptions like this, it is not the provisions of OEG and BVG, in particular the catalogue of benefits of BVG that prevent the victims from receiving the urgently needed help they are entitled to. The problems encountered in practice arise in the course of administrative procedures, in meeting the requirements to provide evidence of the crime and the causal link between the crime and the psychological damage suffered.

This is where the Draft proposes necessary improvements.

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