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Current situation

This Federal Situation Report on Domestic Violence 2022, the BKA’s criminal statistics analysis, once again shows an increase in cases of domestic violence. Compared to the previous year 2021 by a good eight percent. Domestic violence includes both partner violence (violence in current or former partnerships) and intra-family violence, i.e. violence by family members.

The number of reported cases rose from 221,615 victims in 2021 to 240,547 victims in 2022. This violence predominantly affects women: 71.1 percent of victims are female. However, more than one in four people affected are male: 28.9%. In 2022, a total of 69,471 men reported an act of violence they had experienced in the area of intimate partner or domestic violence. This could fill two medium-sized football stadiums.

However, these figures only represent the police’s bright field, i.e. those cases that were reported to the police. The actual incidence of violence and thus the dark field of unreported cases is estimated to be considerably higher for both women and men.

In February 2024, the representative dark field study by the KfN (Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony) was published. It shows that 54.1% of men have been affected by intimate partner violence at least once in their lives, with “lighter” forms (e.g. slapping) being mentioned more frequently than “more serious” forms (e.g. choking, locking up). The study distinguishes between physical, psychological, sexualized and digital violence as well as controlling behavior. 32.5% of all men surveyed reported having been affected by two or more of these forms of violence. (to the BFKM evaluation of the study)

This makes it clear that men affected by violence in Germany are not a negligible group. It should be a matter of course that men find help when they are affected by violence. This is why there are specialized violence counselling centres, some of which have shelters for men or even gender-independent shelters.

At the same time, the study shows the mostly multi-layered complexity of violent relationships, as 73% of those affected also stated that they had become violent towards their partner. The roles of perpetrator and victim are often not clearly distinguishable.

Shelter places for men

There are currently 12 men’s shelters in Germany (with 43 places). In addition, there are three gender-independent shelters (with 5 places) where people of any gender can find refuge, including men. In total, we are therefore talking about 15 shelters for men with 48 places nationwide. Men affected and, if they wish, their children can stay there for a while. Counseling is of course essential. The counseling sessions also help men to shape their own future after their time in the shelter.

The longest-running shelter (since March 2002) is in Oldenburg and is run on a voluntary basis. The Free State of Saxony has been funding three men’s shelters in Leipzig, Dresden and Plauen as a pilot project since 2016. These facilities have received regular project funding since 2022. A men’s shelter in Chemnitz was added in 2023, while the shelter in Plauen is also open to men as a gender-independent shelter. North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is funding five men’s shelters in Düsseldorf, Cologne, Mönchengladbach-Rheydt, Bielefeld and Warendorf. Bavaria is funding two men’s shelters in Augsburg and Nuremberg(also as a pilot project). Another sheltered housing facility is available in Stuttgart for men affected by violence. In Bruchsal in Baden-Württemberg and in Bergen auf Rügen there is also a gender-independent shelter.


State governments, state politicians, networks, organizations and initiatives are committed to the creation of further men’s shelters. Further projects in Berlin, Brandenburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia are in the starting blocks. However, the necessary finances and funding are currently lacking.

The Federal Specialist and Coordination Office for the Protection of Men from Violence (BFKM) assumes that there is currently a need for up to five shelters per federal state, depending on the population density and size.

You can find further men-specific advice services, including on the topics of violence (advice for perpetrators and victims), health, sexuality, homelessness, fatherhood, working with boys, work or older men from our colleagues at the men’s advice network.

Women affected by domestic violence can find a search map on the portal of the Zentrale Informationsstelle Autonomer Frauenhäuser (ZiF) or the Frauenhauskoordinierung.

* How we use gender.

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