In each German federal state, the bff’s women’s counselling centres and rape crisis centres provide support for women and girls affected by violence and for their family and friends. The centres are listed at local support services, where personal and telephone counselling is available to all women who have experienced sexualised, physical or psychological violence.

Moreover, many centres provide counselling in case of separations, life crises and psychological or existential problems.

The support services range from one-time counselling to more long-term assistance; group services are also available.

Even if your request does not fall under the direct responsibility of the centre approached, it can help you get in touch with other suitable facilities.

In most centres, counselling is provided in different languages by native-language female staff or in co-operation with female interpreters.

Many counselling centres also address relatives, friends or other supporting people belonging to the social environment of the women and girls affected by violence.

The service is free of charge and anonymous if requested.

For all girls and women

The services provided by the rape crisis centres and women’s counselling centres address all girls and women who have experienced violence irrespective of their age, their educational level, their sexual orientation, their social status or cultural origin and irrespective of the time and form of violence experienced.

Also dependents and supporters can use the services provided by the rape crisis centres and women’s counselling centres.

Any form of violence

Broadly speaking, help and support is provided to those affected by any form of violence, e.g.

  • Violence in relationships and/or within the close social environment (“domestic violence“);
  • Rape including war rape;
  • Trafficking in women and forced prostitution;
  • Sexual abuse during childhood and youth;
  • Ritual violence, ritual abuse;
  • Sexual abuse during therapy and counselling;
  • (Sexual) harassment in the workplace; bullying;
  • Stalking;
  • digital violence;
  • Psychological violence

In life crises or emergencies

Women can also approach the centres even if violence has not been experienced directly, e.g.

  • during life crises and when difficult decisions need to be taken;
  • in social and financial emergencies;
  • in case of pregnancy-related conflicts;
  • in situations of psychological strain, such as separation, divorce and relationship difficulties;
  • in case of specific mental illnesses, e.g. anxiety or eating disorders;
  • in case of other issues (specific to women), e.g. menopause or sexual problems

Social and political commitment

In addition to providing individual support for women and their family and friends, women’s counselling centres and rape crisis centres aim at reducing violence against women in society and improving the situation of the women concerned. For this reason, as well as the counselling itself, the counselling centres are also involved in networking and cooperating with other centres. They also work in political and academic committees and, in particular, engage in public relations activities.