What can I do after an attack?
Depending on how severe the attack was, several courses of action are advisable:
- Phone the police and/or an ambulance by dialling 110. The call does not cost anything and can be made on a mobile phone with no credit.
- If there are witnesses, take their names, addresses and phone numbers.
- Write a “memory log” as soon as possible (Guidelines for writing a “memory log”). A memory log is a written or recorded (audio, video) summary of specific events and serves as an aid to recollection, helping you remember details of an incident even years after it happened.
- Even if you are only slightly wounded, go to a doctor as soon as possible. In case you later decide to press charges, the doctor’s evidence is very important. Ask the doctor to document your injuries and write a report on them.
- Contact soliport or another advice and counselling centre. Such centres advise you on your options and discuss all further steps with you. They offer tangible support, for example in pressing charges, visiting authorities and other activities that can help you.
- Pressing charges: If the police were not called to the scene of the incident, you can still press charges later. Depending on the crime, you have three months after the incident or maybe longer to press charges. When you press charges, state that the incident was motivated by right-wing aggression. Make sure you get the log file number (Tagebuchnummer) and/or incident number (Vorgangsnummer) of your case. You will need these numbers if you want to ask the police about progress on your case at a later date. Furthermore, make sure you get a copy of the charges.
What can I do during an attack?
Right-wing attacks can occur at any place, at any time. When you are threatened you enter into an exceptional emotional situation. Nevertheless, try to stay calm. Maybe some of the following options can give you some ideas:
- Try to stay calm and confident towards an aggressor, stay active.
- Remain factual and do not engage in discussions. Keep your distance – both physically and verbally.
- Make short and simple statements, for example, “Please leave me alone!” or “I have nothing to say to you”.
- If you need help, try speaking directly to people nearby and make clear that you need their support, for example, “Please help me”.
- If the situation feels very threatening, move away and seek out other people or public buildings.
- If your flat or another room you are in is attacked, decide whether you should leave the dangerous area. Inform all other people who are also in danger (e.g. neighbours).
- Phone the police by dialling 110. The call does not cost anything and can be made on a mobile phone with no credit.
In general: If you are physically attacked, you may defend yourself or detain the perpetrators until the police arrive. Even if you are worked up and upset, think carefully about your actions.
What can I do if I witness right-wing violence?
We need you! Do not look away, assist the affected person and organize help. If bystanders do not show solidarity with the affected person, they signal approval for the act of violence. Failing to assist has negative consequences for the affected person. Every time someone looks away from an act of right-wing violence, they contribute to making such attacks socially acceptable.
Depending on how serious the incident is, there are several courses of action. In deciding what to do, trust your instincts but don’t put yourself in danger:
- Get help. Talk to other bystanders and directly ask them to actively help.
- Phone the police by dialling 110.
- Express to the perpetrators in a calm and authoritative tone of voice that their behaviour is not appropriate. Speak to the person being attacked and signal to them that you want to help (if they wish).
- Do not abandon the person who has been attacked, offer to accompany them away from the scene of the incident.
- Listen to what the affected person has to say and show empathy but do not impose on them.