The survivors’ board at UBSKM ensures that the concerns of survivors of sexual violence suffered during childhood and adolescence are heard at the highest political level in Germany.
What is the Survivors’ Board?
On June 4th, 2020, the 18 survivor advocates of the second board for survivors of child sexual abuse were appointed by Franziska Giffey, the then Federal Minister for Family Affairs, for a period of five years.
The now increased number of members, as compared to the first survivors’ board, enables individual members to withdraw either temporarily or permanently from voluntary committee activities before their official term of five years has expired. This ensures that the survivors’ board remains capable of acting and has adequate resources available for its various tasks. If the number of members drops below 12, then a new tendering procedure must take place.
The survivors’ board currently has 17 survivor advocates as its members.
The survivors’ board is a voluntary board that provides structured and continuous advice to the UBSKM and its staff. Its members advocate the concerns of the survivors of sexual violence and they also give the issues both a public face and voice. They take the survivors’ concerns into political discourse and as well as making the general public aware of them.
Children and adolescents have the right to grow up free of violence. It is a public responsibility to protect children everywhere from sexualised violence, to recognise the signs at an early stage and to take appropriate counter and protective measures.
Members of the Survivors’ Board
The survivors’ board has the following members in alphabetical order (as of: April 2022):
(Born 1962, in Bremen)
Activist, artist, graduate social worker, active in political self-help and prevention since 1986. 1986 - co-founder of the first self-help group in Darmstadt, 1987-1994 founder of the association and developer of the “Wildwasser” counselling centre in Darmstadt. 1990 Founded the “Nameless” series of self-help publications - the first nationwide forum for surviving women to become visible as experts. Since 2001 travelling exhibition "It goes on and on" - an artistic examination of the sexualised violence experiences of girls*, boys* and women* - protection against perpetrators.
“The extent of sexualised violence has remained unchanged for decades. I am involved in the survivors’ board in order to prepare demands and social strategies together with other survivors from the point of view of 35 years of feminist expertise and experience on the subject, which basically looks at the causes, extent and estimated number of unreported cases. We finally need a culture of attention and a policy that invests in prevention and rehabilitation, support and help for the survivors in specialised counselling centres, in qualifications and equipment for authorities, the police and the judiciary.
(Born 1959, in Osnabrück)
Four children and seven grandchildren, is committed to a dignified life for everyone at various levels. He has put this into practice as a musician, cultural manager and founder of the “Culture for All association” in Osnabrück that enables people with little money to participate both culturally and socially. His commitment to the "child sexual abuse" issue is still relatively new: He supports the “Pedagogical Workshop Theatre” in Osnabrück in their prevention work and as a coach, he also advises survivors of sexualised violence through his "sinnfinderei".
"I’ve only been able to transform my own abuse trauma into positive action energy for a few years - however, I am getting better and better at it! My concern is to integrate a communication culture about sexual abuse into our everyday conversations in order to provide better protection to children. Natural, relaxed talking about the issue must push aside the silence that makes it so easy for the perpetrators! We survivors can play a special role in this through the knowledge we have gained from our experiences.
(Born 1991, in Berlin)
Currently studying cultural studies in Frankfurt (Oder).
"My aim is to break the taboo about sexualised violence - I would like to see a discourse that takes place publicly, covering all conceivable fields. Both politics and the majority of society must be made more aware and supportive so that preventive and protective measures can be actively promoted and organised. Open discussions about sexualised violence must be an essential and original part of the education provided in day-care centres and schools. I expect to see more public funding for political and sexual education. Role models, hegemonic masculinity (visible, for example, through toxic masculinity) as well as prevailing images and myths must be made recognisable as such, eliminated or discussed and questioned openly. Sexualised violence is not a solitary problem as it is linked to power relations, patriarchal structured violence and forms of discrimination. The perpetrators need to be named and their history and preying methods need to be examined and reviewed”.
(Born 1991, in Heidelberg)
Currently resides in Lucerne, Switzerland. Resident in internal medicine, from February 2022 she will partake in further training in traditional Chinese medicine for acupuncture, from 2023 she will undergo specialist training in anaesthesiology, emergency and intensive care medicine. This is her first "public" action against sexual abuse.
“Coping with sexual abuse is often an exhausting life-long task that needs an incredible amount of strength and patience. If I can make a small contribution through my work in the survivors’ board so that children will receive more protection in the future and that the help provided to people who have experienced abuse will develop in a better direction, then this work will be worth it. I have been working in the medical field for several years now and I continually come into contact with survivors of sexualised violence and I can see a huge need for prevention and protection, especially in the medical-therapeutic context. Ensuring comprehensive prevention and protection programmes so that children and adults who turn to an institution seeking help for physical or emotional distress are protected from further abuse and assault is a matter close to my heart, both for personal reasons as well as my clinical work. Calling on the environment that ‘keeps silent’ is essential to putting an end to abuse”.
This crazy child
to embrace life
who falls down
gets up and keeps on going
with bruised knees,
this crazy child
believes in love”
– Anne Steinwart
(Born 1977, in Hamburg)
Self-employed, is in the process of restarting a self-help programme for male abuse survivors in Hamburg again after a nine-year gap in this service.
“I expect society to respect people who experienced sexual violence during their childhood and adolescence. My heartfelt commitment is to men who were exposed to sexual violence as adolescents”.
(Born 1951, in Cologne)
Social education, supervisor and quality auditor, active in social science practice, research and teaching since 1976 (Social Education Institute NRW & Social Science Faculty at the Technical University in Cologne), main focus: childhood education, educational planning and quality management. Currently active in the “Josephinum Redemptoristen abuse survivor” and "Eckiger Tisch" survivor initiatives as well as the steering group for the "Effectiveness research” project, through which the "Institute for Prevention and Inquiry of Sexualised Violence" supports the North Rhine-Westphalian dioceses. He is demanding constitutional status for children's basic rights and is developing prevention concepts in educational institutions. He is particularly interested in anchoring basic knowledge about sexualised violence in the advanced training system and in post-qualification courses for system-relevant professional groups.
“The image of a child that prevails in society is characterised by deficient perceptions; children are thought of as unfinished beings who are to be educated through influence and power. We must finally understand that children do not just become human beings, but are human beings right from birth. Only when the idea of the empowered child has been accepted in education and parent training, in justice and in politics, will we be able to effectively formulate protection against inhuman exploiters”.
(Born 1988, in Rheinland-Pfalz/Nordrhein-Westfalen)
Mother of four children who studied sustainable social policy. Her issues in the survivors' board are sexual violence within the family, free churches and sects, the frequent multiple stresses caused by the mental and physical violence that survivors undergo as well as mental/spiritual abuse. As a speaker in kindergartens, schools and specialised counselling centres, she is a strong advocate for early, comprehensive and child-friendly sex education.
She is also committed to ensuring that the issues of abuse and post traumatic stress disorders become a mandatory part of all child-related training, because: “everyone who works with children knows survivors but must also know how to recognise their needs and how to help them". From her own experience she knows: "on the one hand, there needs to be a de-stigmatisation of the survivors - because no one would think of stigmatising a survivor of a car accident - and on the other hand, there needs to be fundamental recognition of the wrongs they have endured by providing non-bureaucratic, rapid and specialist help, so that every survivor can shape their lives in such a way that the consequences can be alleviated as far as possible.
(Born 1971, in Lower Saxony)
Commercial assistant, political activist and her own blog project can be found at: ichhabeangezeigt.org. Dorina Kolbe is a member of the advisory board of the "Protection against sexualised violence against children and adolescents in sport: Prevention, Intervention, Competence to Act" project at the Lower Saxony Sports Federation.
"Being a survivor, I bring my experience with health, criminal and compensation law into the political process. I use every available opportunity to try and exert influence when it comes to providing sex education and addressing and enforcing the interests of the survivors. I am especially concerned about the compensation and support provided for survivors for ensuring optimum health care as a condition for improving an individual’s quality of life".
(Born 1971, in the Rheinland)
Ilka holds a degree in remedial education and is a licensed child and adolescent psychotherapist. She has been a survivor of sexualised violence and its consequences since childhood and adolescence and later on, she became deeply involved with this issue during her studies and is still professionally involved with it to this day. After many professional years working in various areas of adult psychiatry and child and adolescent welfare, she began her psychotherapeutic training and she became mother of twins. She currently runs her own private practice. She is a delegate at the Chamber of Psychotherapists of North Rhine-Westphalia and is involved in committee work there and beyond that there is also her professional commitment to comprehensive and qualitative psychotherapeutic care for children and adolescents. She also has professional ethics issues in mind.
"Sexualised violence is based on power and dependence. I would especially like to use my energy on behalf of surviving children and adolescents who are much less able to make their voices heard and be listened to. They are the little ones as well as children and adolescents with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses. They must always be considered in all areas of involvement It must also no longer be too dangerous for any child or adolescent to accept help.
(Born 1988, in Lower Saxony)
State-approved preschool teacher, M.A. Early childhood teacher. Works as the pedagogical director in the town of Walsrode and he lives at Lüneburg Heath in Lower Saxony. He advocates for the nationwide establishment of protection concepts in educational institutions as well as knowledge about and strategies against sexualised violence to be included as part of the training and studies for educational professionals.
“In the public eye, sexualised violence against children always flares up in connection with current or past acts that have become known. However, it is happening every day on a painful, global scale. I call for a courageous and strong stand against it, for protection concepts to be developed and applied and for everyone to remain alert to it and to look for signs of it”.
(Born 1977, in Bavaria)
Trauma pedagogue, consultant to the development, expansion and networking departments of the Federal Specialised Counselling Office for sexualised violence during childhood and adolescence issues, initiator and board member of the "Schutzhöhle association for reappraising and preventing child sexual abuse”, project coordinator for "Männer*beratung Oberfranken", former permanent guest of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in Germany and member of the National Council.
She has been working exclusively on the sexualised violence in childhood and adolescence issues for many years. Her main concern is ensuring that comprehensive and needs-based care is provided for surviving children, adolescents and adults throughout Germany. Other focal points of her full-time and voluntary commitments are preventing sexualised violence in all children’s day care centres and schools as well as implementing the issue in, at the least, all social training courses. Ms Luding continues to be available as a counsellor for survivors and, as a freelance consultant, she trains specialists from education, psychology, medicine and the judiciary.
"I have dedicated myself to three issues for many years: the comprehensive and needs-based care of surviving children, adolescents and adults, mandatory prevention in all children’s day-care centres and schools, and implementing the issue in (first and foremost) all social training and study courses. These three issues shape both my full-time and my voluntary commitments”.
(Born 1971, in Vorpommen/Berlin)
Political scientist, consultant to the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, authoress with published book - "Father, Mother, Stasi: My life in the surveillance state’s network".
"When I managed to tell my story, one of the questions I was asked was: 'Do you have to say that publicly?'
But these crimes are part of everyday life.
They are consciously organised, no matter where they occur. Talking about them must become part of everyday life. Our life stories should finally lead to consequences in politics and society as a whole. Anyone who makes the survivors more visible will be developing more honest and better prevention concepts. Leaving the survivors alone and the everyday failure by state authorities are other painful experiences that could frequently be prevented”.
„Vater, Mutter, Stasi: Mein Leben im Netz des Überwachungsstaates“
(Born 1982, in Berlin/Greifswald)
Studied biology at the Free University of Berlin and political science at the Otto Suhr Institute at the Free University of Berlin; political scientist and research assistant at the University of Greifswald and doctoral candidate at Freiburg University.
In 2010 she was a co-organiser of the "From our point of view” nationwide survivors’ congress and since 2009 she worked voluntarily for “Wildwasser Berlin” and from 2011 to 2019 she was a board member at “Wildwasser Berlin”; she has been a member of the international “Safe Movement Global Survivors Group” since 2021.
"Sexualised violence against children is a human rights violation. This is caused by political and social structures that enable, downplay, normalise, reinterpret and conceal sexualised abuse of power against children and adolescents. All too often children are still being treated as the property of adults. But children's rights are human rights! A child cannot protect itself alone. That is why we must make all adults aware that they must protect all children from violence and help them as well. Human rights violations do not stop at national borders and sexualised violence against children and adolescents is a global problem. Therefore we need international survivor networking and solidarity alliances in order to be able to learn from each other and to strengthen each other. This is why international human rights work against sexualised violence is an especially important concern to me. We are a global human rights movement.
(Born 1953, in Sachsen-Anhalt)
M.A., grew up in Saarland. After graduating from high school, he studied at a university of applied sciences, graduated with a degree in administration and then obtained a university M.A. in psychology and education as well as completing advanced training in child and adolescent psychotherapy (gestalt therapy). Jürgen Wolfgang Stein worked as a civil servant for more than 40 years, first in the service of the federal government, then for his home-town of Neunkirchen/Saar (most recently as the head of youth welfare) and after reunification at the Ministry of Social Affairs in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. He has spent more than 15,000 hours as a volunteer, mainly in leading positions, e.g. from 1994 to 2006 he was the founding chairman of the German Child Protection Association in Sachsen-Anhalt and he is also a committed member of Mensa in Germany (founding local secretary in Saxony-Anhalt). The issues he focuses on are resilience and post-traumatic growth.
"Expert knowledge remains incomplete without practical knowledge. I developed strengths during my childhood and adolescence that I use to protect children from sexual violence. I am resolutely against abuse”.
(No age specification, North Rhine-Westphalia)
Has been researching in the health sciences and dealing with the issues of power and responsibility (not only ) on a voluntary basis for years. Alex Stern works mainly on organised crime and ritual violence in the survivors’ board and he also researches health care for adults who have survived sexual violence.
“The way politics, research and society deal with sexual violence and people who have survived sexual violence must change: sexualised violence must not be followed by structural violence and wide-spread discrimination. We have the right to a future”.
(Born 1967, in Saxony)
Survivor of residential youth care exploitation in the old GDR, chairwoman of the “Abuse in GDR homes” survivors board initiative, member of the “Supplementary help system fund for sexual abuse survivors” committee, group leader at "Verbogene Seelen” (Damaged souls), which is the only self-help group in Germany for survivors of sexual abuse in GDR homes.
“My concern is that sexual abuse is no longer a taboo; so dealing with it and inquiring into it are my objectives”.
Being a political body, the Survivors’ Board tries to include the concerns of as many survivors as possible in its work. This requires feedback from those who experienced sexual violence as children or adolescents. You are welcome to get in touch via Facebook or e-mail at: email@example.com.
The survivors’ board works voluntarily and primarily politically, so that no individual or psychological advice or personal forms of support can be provided by the survivors’ board for specific life situations. Please refer to the Sexual Abuse Help portal for this type of support.
Press enquiries can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org