How do you report child abuse anonymously

Suspected case and duty to notify

Private individuals: no obligation to notify

Neither those affected nor private individuals are legally obliged to file a criminal complaint against the perpetrator in the event of suspected sexual abuse. Even if the private person learns from a credible source that such an act is planned in the future, there is no obligation to report it.

Educators: can be obliged

For educators and socio-educational specialists who work as employees of a public or independent youth welfare agency, the relevant regulations in the Social Security Code must also be observed. Violations of the obligations arising from employment or service relationships can have consequences under service law or labor law.

However, the obligation to prevent a child's wellbeing only opens up the possibility, not the obligation to involve the law enforcement authorities (right to advice).

Authorities and offices: The police are obliged, the youth welfare office is not

When it comes to the duty to notify authorities and public officials, the legislator distinguishes between: Anyone who works in the area of ​​criminal prosecution - e.g. the police or the public prosecutor's office - must report criminal offenses if he or she has learned of them on business. There is no such obligation to report a criminal offense for employees of other authorities, such as youth welfare offices.

The question of whether the superiors of such an authority must report the sexual abuse of a child by their employees is more complex. For example, do the directors of state schools or nursing homes have to report abuse according to the law? In certain cases, the duty of care can actually oblige them to call in the youth welfare office or to report criminal charges. The principle of official secrecy and the data protection regulations do not stand in the way of this procedure - because transferring personal data to other public bodies is always permitted if it is necessary to fulfill legal tasks.

Churches: no obligation to notify

The churches are corporations under public law. However, this status does not confer on them any special powers or duties beyond those of a private association. The same principles apply to church staff with regard to the duty to report sexual abuse as to private individuals: They are not obliged to report criminal offenses.