Advice

Victim Counselling

Experiencing an assault may have the effect that victims are feeling helpless and left alone. The Lower Saxony Victim Counselling Service is by your side when you need us. We will escort you those affected and represent your perspectives and points of view. We will make time for you and ensure that extensive discussions are possible.

Here you will find some examples of how we can support you in consultation:

  • We will help you to emotionally process what you have experienced and, if you wish, we will also support you in arranging therapeutic support
  • We will inform you about legal options, such as reporting, incidental action, victim protection, etc.
  • If necessary, we will accompany you to the police, legal consultations, authorities and medical treatment
  • In the event of a court hearing, we will help you to get prepared for the proceedings and accompany you to the hearing
  • We will show you financing and compensation options and support you with the application
  • Together we will work out long-term measures to improve your life situation
  • We will create opportunities for exchanges with other people who have been affected
  • If you want to, we can draw public attention to the problem of right-wing motivated, racist and anti-Semitic attacks

All consultations take place according to your individual situation. Our team will only act after having consulted you.

Our service is voluntary, confidential and free of charge.

Contact

This is how you can reach us:

North-West Lower Saxony region

Exil e.V
Phone: 0541 38069923
Mobile:  0157 37967272
nordwest@betroffenenberatung.de

North-East Lower Saxony region

CJD Nienburg
Phone: 05021 971111
betroffenenberatung.nordost.nds@cjd.de

Southern Lower Saxony region

Asyl e.V
Mobile: 0179 1255333 / 0159 06390203 / 0159 06849290
sued-nds@betroffenenberatung.de

Counselling for relatives and witnesses

For relatives and friends, dealing with right-wing, racist and anti-Semitic attacks within the circle of family and friends can be stressful. Often, people close to the victim do not know how to deal with the situation. There are questions like: “How can I help?”, “Will I say something wrong?” or “Should I be scared now too?” Our counsellors will try to find answers to these questions in cooperation with you. We offer emotional support and will give advice on ways to help the victims.

We will also advise you if you have witnessed an incident. People who have witnessed or observed an inhuman act often feel overburdened. In addition to questions about how to proceed, feelings of guilt and fear may arise. We will help you to report the incident and support you in coping and coming to terms with it.

Even if you are committed to tolerant coexistence and are against xenophobia and misanthropy, you may experience right-wing, racist and anti-Semitic violence. We will support you in reflecting on and coming to terms with these experiences and will assist you on future coping strategies.

How do we advise you?

Our advice is provided voluntarily and oriented to your needs. If yourself-perception has suffered after an assault, we will support you in (re)discovering your individual resources and strengthening your own self-confidence. We respect the living environment and self-determination of those who seek our advice and will find solutions together: You decide which steps you want to take.

We provide advice both personally and by telephone or video conference. The most important thing for us is that you feel safe and accepted.

Our work is…

  • Confidential. All discussions take place in strict confidence. On request, We will also provide anonymous advice.
  • Unbureaucratic. We advise all people regardless of their residency status.
  • Partisan. We stand on the side of the people affected and support their interests.
  • Needs-oriented. We act according to the wishes and needs of the people affected. Our advice is not linked to the filing of a complaint or the reporting of a criminal offence.
  • Flexible. Our counsellors are mobile and can come to you if you wish.
  • Multilingual. We take care of barrier-free communication through interpreters.
  • Independent. We act independently of public authorities and other state institutions.
  • Free of charge.

Arrange a meeting

If you are a victim, relative, friend or witness and need support following a right-wing, racist or anti-Semitic attack, we are here for you. We advise in person, by telephone, by email and, if you prefer, anonymously.

Get in touch with our counsellors*:

Guide: What to do after an attack?

Get yourself to safety
Your safety comes first! Try to escape the situation and seek protection.

Ask for help
Ask others for help and talk to witnesses of the incident.

Document the incident
Photograph any injuries, the crime scene and all surrounding objects (e.g. stones, broken glass, bottles, stickers, clothing). Do not touch anything at the crime scene!

Go to the doctor
Have yourself examined and ask the doctor to document any injuries. In cases of emergency, treatment is also possible without an insurance card.

Do not stay alone
Tell your family and friends* what happened to you. You are not to blame and should not be ashamed. Don’t be left alone with your feelings and allow yourself to receive support.

Write a memory log

    • Make a note of any recollections of the incident:
    • When and where did it happen?
    • What happened exactly? What happened next?
    • How many people were involved? What did they look like?
    • What injuries and damages are there?
    • What witnesses were there and what did they see?

You may want to inform the police
It’s your decision whether or not to call the police. You can call the police directly to the crime scene or go to the police later and report the incident. You don’t have to go to the police by yourself. You can be accompanied by your family and friends or by the staff of local advice centers. If you wish to testify, you have the right to an interpreter. Contacting the police has no negative impact on your stay in Germany.

Seek support
The Victim Counselling Services are there for you! We can help you if you have experienced right-wing, racist or anti-Semitic violence. We also help relatives and witnesses. You decide whether you prefer a face-to-face or anonymous consultation. You also decide where the consultation takes place. Our service is confidential, independent and free. You can also contact us if you don’t have valid documents.

You find further information about our consultation services here.

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