The Survivors´ Board supports the work of the Commissioner and her team. Survivor advocates from the Survivors´ Board also pass on the important survivor’s perspective to other committees and projects at both federal and state levels.
The first Survivors´ Board 2015 - 2020
The Survivors´ Board was first constituted in March 2015. A central UBSKM demand was implemented with the establishment of a Survivors´ Board, which ensured the structured participation by survivors as envisaged in the coalition agreement between the CDU, CSU and SPD from 2013. Survivor advocates from the Survivors´ Board have all suffered sexualised violence in different contexts, e.g. in family, institutional and non-institutional contexts as well as during organised and ritual violence. The survivor advocates have been working professionally and/or voluntarily on this issue for years and they all have specific expert knowledge in addition to their personal experiences.
The concerns of the survivors can now be heard at the federal level and incorporated into ongoing processes that involve the broad issue of child sexual abuse as a result of the structured participation by the survivors. By participating in the actual developing of the UBSKM’s concepts, plans, statements and positions as well as participating in the infrastructures of other bodies (e.g. National Board against Sexual Violence Inflicted on Children and Adolescents, the Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse), the Survivors´ Board contributes to the political and social discourse regarding concerns and expertise of those who suffered sexual violence as children or adolescents. The first Survivors´ Board also organised two large and internationally attended congresses for survivors and their supporters.
After the office of an Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues was permanently established, the Federal Cabinet also made the activities of the Survivors´ Board permanent in December 2018.
The second Survivors´ Board 2020 - 2025
The selection process for the second Survivors´ Board started in October 2019 and was completed by April 2020.
The selection committee unanimously agreed on seven new members who, after a differentiated selection process from more than 200 applications, were proposed for appointment by Franziska Giffey, who was then the Federal Minister for Family Affairs. The other eleven members were already active in the first Survivors´ Board and were continuing their commitment.
The 18 members of the second Survivors´ Board were appointed for a period of five years on the 4th of June 2020 and they have been supporting the Independent Commissioner and the office team on a voluntary basis ever since. The Survivors´ Board has had 16 members since the 1st of April 2022.
The constitutive meeting of the new Survivors´ Board was held at the end of June 2020.
The five-strong selection committee included the Independent Commissioner, a representative from the UBSKM working group, a representative from the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and two survivors who were nominated by the first Survivors´ Board but who were not actually survivor advocates from the Survivors´ Board. The selection and composition of the new Survivors´ Board took into consideration criteria such as gender equality, age diversity and the different abuse contexts stipulated in the cabinet decision adopted in December 2018.