Welcome to VBRG, the Association of Counseling Centers for Victims of Right-wing, Racist and Anti-Semitic Violence in Germany

VBRG is committed to providing victims of right-wing, racist and anti-Semitic violence across Germany with access to counselling and support. Its members operate in a professional, independent, free-of-charge and partisan (pro-victim) manner. At present, 15 independent counselling organizations for people affected by those crimes in 13 of Germany’s federal states are members in the association VBRG.

Every year, our member organizations counsel and support hundreds of persons affected by right-wing, racist and anti-Semitic violence. In doing so, they draw on two decades of experience and considerable expertise. They support those directly affected by attacks, threats, arson and assault as well as witnesses, relatives and communities. This support is provided confidentially, on site and anonymously on request. The counselling services of all of VBRG’s member organizations give priority to the victims´ perspectives and their desire to overcome the material and immaterial consequences of an attack.

All too often, right-wing and racist violence and its consequences are ignored, downplayed or never made public. Together with our member organizations, we render the scope of hate violence visible by means of reliable monitoring, independent statistics and analyses.

The association and its members have been working towards and support the effort to establish national and international network of NGOs providing counselling and support for victims of right-wing, racist and anti-Semitic violence and other hate crimes.

The counseling services of all of VBRG’s member organizations give priority to the victim’s perspective and his or her desire to overcome the material and immaterial consequences of right-wing, racist or anti-Semitic violence: by offering to act as joint plaintiff in the criminal proceedings against perpetrators, by providing information and access to material compensation and by accompanying victims to the police, the public prosecutor’s office, in court or when dealing with immigration authorities, job centers or other institutions. This often involves public relations and media activities, as well as lobbying politicians and government agencies. All of VBRG’s member organizations have agreed on shared quality standards.

VBRG’s member organizations are professional, independent counseling organizations for victims of right-wing, racist and anti-Semitic violence. They support victims, relatives and witnesses to attacks in accordance with shared quality standards: free of charge, confidentially, anonymously (on request), on location and in a partisan (pro-victim) manner. Their goal is to help victims of attacks overcome the material and immaterial consequences of crimes, to support them in exercising their rights and to place their perspective and demands at the center of the public discourse on right-wing extremism, racism and right-wing violence.

VBRG’s member organizations provide counseling that is

  • free of charge
  • outreach-based – The victims themselves decide where meetings take place.
  • multilingual – Where appropriate, counseling is provided with the aid of translators.
  • confidential – No information is provided to third parties without the victim’s consent. Counseling is provided anonymously on request.
  • client-oriented and partisan – Counseling is oriented towards the wishes, perspectives and needs of victims and does not necessarily involve reporting incidents to the police.
  • independent of all government agencies

Services include:

  • support and counseling on how to come to terms with an attack emotionally
  • decision guidance with regard to further action
  • information on legal options (reporting incidents to the police, accessory prosecution etc.)
  • support in finding lawyers
  • accompanying victims to government agencies, the police, lawyers, medical doctors etc.
  • preparation and follow-up of legal proceedings, accompanying victims to court
  • counseling on financial support (e.g. legal aid, compensation payments) and support with applications
  • psychosocial counseling
  • procuration of therapeutic and medical services
  • on request: public relations activities geared to raising awareness of the victim’s demands in the media, in society and among politicians
  • accompanying the victim to administrative bodies and government agencies, so as to ensure (or restore) his or her security

If you require counseling, please contact the counseling organization in your federal state directly.

Counseling Centers for victims of right-wing, racist and anti-Semitic violence in Germany

Counseling Centers

 
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International commitment

Enhancing Stakeholder Awareness and Resources for Hate Crime Victim Support (EStAR)

By implementing the EStAR project, we reaffirm our commitment to providing support to hate crime victims, advocating for a victim-centered approach and improving services to those who suffered a hate motivated discrimination, abuse and violence. Together with our partner, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), we want to ensure that hate crime victims receive adequate protection, specialized services and access to justice. Everywhere in Europe.

Learn more

EStAR publications

Analytical Paper: Understanding the Needs of Hate Crime Victims

This publication aims to provide information and foster understanding of the specific needs of hate crime victims. It addresses the needs common to all or most victims of hate crime, both as a category of victims and as individuals. This publication is primarily addressed at law enforcement and criminal justice officials, and hate crime specialists and victim support practitioners from government and civil society alike. The diversity and breadth of the needs of hate crime victims mean that many other professionals encounter them on regular occasions. Lawyers, psychologists, medical or social workers could study this publication to better care for their clients.

Download: Analytical Paper: Understanding the Needs of Hate Crime Victims
Download:
Zrozumienie potrzeb ofiar przestępstw z nienawiści (Polish edition)

Baseline Report: The State of Support Structures and Specialist Services for Hate Crime Victims

The report presents the results of a mapping exercise to identify the hate crime victim support structures and services provided in the project states, including selected good practices. The report also identifies gaps in support for hate crime victims in those states and gives solutions to adressing selected problems in hate crime victim support.

Download: The State of Support Structures and Specialist Services for Hate Crime Victims Baseline Report

Guide: Model Quality Standards for Hate Crime Victim Support

Hate crime victimization can be profoundly traumatic. Victim support is vital to healing the trauma of crime by helping victims to manage the harms inflicted and deal with the aftermath if seeking justice. This guide provides benchmarks used to specify the quality of services required to meet states’ obligations to victims of hate crime. Its quality standards can also be used as guidelines for the development of new services, and as criteria to assess the quality of existing services. Quality standards play a crucial role in developing and strengthening specialized hate crime victim support, as high professional standards for the conduct, expertise and organization of services are key to meeting victims’ needs.

It also includes Checklist of Model Quality Standards for specialist hate crime victim support services for ease of use.

Download: Guide: Model Quality Standards for Hate Crime Victim Support
Download: Checklist of Model Quality Standards for specialist hate crime victim support services

Checklist of Model Quality Standards for specialist hate crime victim support services

Quality standards play a crucial role in developing and strengthening specialized hate crime victim support, as high professional standards for the conduct, expertise and organization of services are key to meeting victims’ needs. This Checklist of Model Quality Standards for Specialist Hate Crime Victim Support Services makes it easy to see in which areas an organization has already achieved the quality criteria and where there is still potential for development.

Download: Checklist of Model Quality Standards for specialist hate crime victim support services

Guide: Model Guidance on Individual Needs Assessments of Hate Crime Victims

This model guidance provides information on what an Individual Needs Assessment (INA) of hate crime victims entails and how to set up a system in which INAs are both effective in achieving their goals, and sensitive and respectful to the specific needs of the victims. It serves as a tool to guide relevant state institutions, victim support services and civil society organizations working in the field of hate crime victim support in designing, adapting and implementing an effective INA process.

Download: Guide: Model Guidance on Individual Needs Assessments of Hate Crime Victims

Further publications

What to do after a right-wing, racist or anti-Semitic attack? Possibilities for action and help for victims, relatives and witnesses. A guidebook.

This guide is aimed at people who have experienced right-wing, racist, antiziganist or anti-Semitic violence, their relatives and friends and witnesses of an attack. This guide is intended to help those affected to find their way in a non-routine situation by giving a brief guide to important questions and decisions.

Published by: VBRG – Association of Counseling Centres for Victims of Right-wing, Racist and Anti-Semitic Violence in Germany, Berlin 2019

Download: What to do after a right-wing, racist or anti-Semitic attack  [PDF, 790 KB]

What to do after a racist attack? Recommendations for affected persons. A fact sheet in 10 languages.

Racist violence is prohibited by law in Germany. But unfortunately, there are such cases anyway. Racist violence has many forms. This fact sheet is intended to help you if you are affected by racist violence. Or if you know people who are affected. The fact sheet shows what you can do. For example, how best to behave immediately after an attack. And where you can find help. A clear structure, simple wording and accompanying illustrations increase comprehensibility. Thus, people who do not have sufficient reading skills even in their mother tongue can grasp the content better.

Published by: VBRG – Association of Counseling Centres for Victims of Right-wing, Racist and Anti-Semitic Violence in Germany, Berlin 2020

Download: What to do after a racist attack? A fact sheet in 10 languages.  [PDF, 5,7 MB]

Counseling for Victims of Right-Wing, Racist and Anti-Semitic violence. Quality Standards for Professional Support.

The network of counseling centers for victims of right-wing, racist and anti-Semitic violence has developed quality standards for the support work in this specific field under the scientific guidance of the German Youth Institute (Deutsches Jugendinstitut).

For more than ten years the counseling centers have committed their professional work to the victims’ perspective. The Quality Standards are an expression of their expertise and competency in counseling. The Quality Standards provide a definition of the specifics of right-wing violence, describe the goals and working principles of the counseling projects and highlights the key processes. The Quality Standards serve as guiding principles for the work of the existing counseling projects in Germany.

Published by: VBRG – Association of Counseling Centres for Victims of Right-wing, Racist and Anti-Semitic Violence in Germany, Berlin 2018

Download: Counseling for Victims of Right-Wing, Racist and Anti-Semitic violence. Quality Standards for Professional Support [PDF, 735 KB]

Hate Crime Victim Support in Europe – A practical Guide

The short book, Hate Crime Victim Support in Europe – A Practical Guide, presents the knowledge gathered and provides useful practical case study illustrations of supporting hate crime victims. This comprehensive guide shares the deep experience and knowledge of hate crime victim support providers in europe with a broader audience.

Authors: Stephan-Jakob Kees, Paul Iganski, Robert Kusche, Magdalena Świder, Kusminder Chahal

Download: Hate Crime Victim Support in Europe – A practical Guide [PDF, 900 KB]