You or acquaintances, friends, neighbors of yours have been attacked. What can you do, what should you know? Of course, if you are directly affected, as relatives, friends, witnesses … you can contact us immediately and discuss any questions that may arise with us. However, we would like to provide some general information at this point in the following.
Their misanthropy is characteristic of right-wing violence. Because the perpetrators do not punish what they see as misconduct on the part of a person concerned, but fundamentally deny their right of residence or existence. Those affected by right-wing violence also have one thing in common: They are not attacked on the basis of their personality or behavior, but solely because the perpetrators see them as representatives of social groups that have no place in the worldview of the right. It is completely irrelevant whether the victims actually belong to these groups; Only the perpetrators’ imaginations are decisive for the violence.
That means: as the person attacked, you are not responsible for what happened. It is not your fault! Therefore, do not hesitate to ask people you trust for support and help.
Friends, relatives, … best help those directly affected by not leaving them alone with the consequences of the crime and by contributing to their well-being and psychological stabilization. Sometimes there are very simple things that help those affected to stabilize and thus avoid retreating: joint activities, attentive discussions, solidarity support in contact with the authorities or accompaniment on everyday trips to school, work or shopping. This can help those affected to overcome fears, encourage them to remain active and to reclaim social spaces. Support should start with the possibilities and interests of those affected. The inclusion of other potentially affected persons or the social environment can help.
Documentation of injuries and damage
In the event of injuries of any kind, you might need a car accidental lawyer; also, a doctor should be consulted immediately! In addition to medical treatment, it is important to document the injuries and consult with a professional injury lawyer, such as Royce Injury Attorneys. The doctors should do this in writing in a certificate. Have any visible injuries photographed.
Fear of costs shouldn’t deter anyone from seeing a doctor. Doctors and other medical staff are obliged to provide first aid and treat injuries regardless of whether they are covered. If you are covered by health insurance, this will cover the costs of any necessary treatment. In addition, according to the Victims Compensation Act, anyone who has been injured in Germany by an act of violence is entitled to the financing of health care. The social welfare offices are responsible for financing medical care for refugees in the asylum procedure. It may be that people in precarious economic or legal situations (e.g. homeless or refugees) have difficulties in asserting their right to medical treatment.
Right-wing acts of violence often also cause property damage: the spectrum that we experience in our work ranges from damaged clothing to destroyed vehicles and damage to home furnishings. Such damage should always be precisely documented, photographed or filmed. Damaged or soiled clothing, bags, etc. should, if possible, be kept unchanged for the time being. A good documentation of the damage often depends on the extent to which damages and reparations can be claimed.
Attacked people and witnesses of right-wing violence should definitely keep a memory log. Even if you don’t want to call in the police at first and don’t want to file a criminal complaint. You may decide differently later. Or there are other reasons that make it necessary to reconstruct the crime in detail.
Even if you think, “I’ll never forget that” – memories fade. In particular, it becomes more difficult later to distinguish between one’s own perception and what is heard later.
However, witness statements are the most important evidence in criminal proceedings. For this reason alone, it is important to be extra careful at this point. If a written reminder can be read before an interrogation, it is much easier to find the right words and not be disturbed by possibly numerous small-scale questions. In the case of a trial two years later – such long periods of time between offense and trial do happen – the memory log helps to make sure of the process and to memorize details.
The memory log should contain every detail of your own perception of the incident, if possible. Things and processes that seem irrelevant also belong in a memory log, because they can increase the credibility of the overall presentation. Clothing, worn political symbols or right-wing expressions can be significant indications of a right motivation for the crime.
A memory log should contain at least the following information:
- Location, date and time of the attack
- Time course of the escalation: When did the first contact with the perpetrators begin? Who did what when?
- Spatial course of the escalation: where did the perpetrators come from? How were they positioned when they attacked? Where did kicks or blows come from? Which punches or kicks can be assigned to which attacker?
- What exactly did the attackers say?
- The perpetrators: clothes, shoes, hair color, size, tattoos, age, weapons, patches, language abnormalities, alcoholism
- Possible witnesses.
In order for the perpetrators to be prosecuted, it is necessary that criminal proceedings are initiated. For this it is necessary that the police and the public prosecutor’s office find out about the possible existence of a criminal offense. To ensure that this happens, it is advisable to file a criminal complaint even if the police were there. A criminal complaint can be made by anyone and is initially only a notification to a law enforcement authority about the possible existence of a criminal offense.
The criminal complaint can be filed in writing or orally at any public prosecutor’s office, the authorities and officers of the police service and the local courts. As a rule, going to the nearest police station is recommended. The police and the public prosecutor’s office are obliged to start investigations following a report, unless there are obviously no actual indications of the existence of a criminal offense.