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Violence Protection for Employees

Violence and violence protection in the public service

More and more often, public service employees are insulted, threatened or physically attacked at their workplace. The violence protection programme of the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance and Home Affairs promotes
  

  • the prevention of violence at the workplace (prevention),
  • support in case of emergency (intervention),
  • and aftercare.
What is violence against public service employees?Hide

"Acts of violence against public servants occur when employees are attacked psychologically (verbally = with words) or physically (= physically):
  

  • on duty.
    Example: A woman is angry about a negative decision by a public authority. She builds herself up in front of the case worker, insults and threatens her.
      
  • Off-duty, directly related to work.
    Example: A man has a loud and angry discussion with a case worker in the office. When the case worker leaves the building after work, the man attacks and injures him.

'Violence against public servants' is not a criminal offence in its own. However, the individual acts of violence - for example bodily harm (§ 223 StGB), resistance or assault on law enforcement officers (§§ 113 ff. StGB), coercion (§ 240 StGB), threats (§ 241 StGB) or insults (§ 185 StGB) - are punishable by law.

Rudeness or insult?
When Ms B. swears violently and loudly in the citizens' office ('What kind of crap is this?'), it is not agreeable to the case worker, Mr S. But as long as the bickering is not directly directed at Mr S., it is only rude. But as long as the bickering is not directly directed at Mr S., Ms B. is only being rude. Mr S. can urge Ms B. to be moderate - or he can stick to the motto: 'Close your ears and get through it'. However, if the outburst of anger turns into personal insults ('You idiot!'), Mr S. is attacked as a person: In this case, Ms B. is liable to prosecution".

Source: Website "Bavaria against Violence" of the Bavarian State Ministry for Family, Labour and Social Affairs (in German)

Violent Offences and TransgressionsHide

Violent offences
"Violent offences are all offences committed against public service workers on duty or off duty, but directly related to the service."

Source: Violence Protection Programme, p. 26 (in German)

They include in particular

  • physical violence,
  • verbal or psychological violence against persons
  • sexual violence
  • causing personal danger
  • physical violence against property.

Transgressions
"In addition to acts of violence, however, there are also situations and behaviour that involve crossing boundaries, that are also perceived as violence by the individual employee and require a reaction from the employer, without constituting a criminal offence. This may be the case, for example, in the case of impudent or generally aggressive behaviour."

Source: Violence Protection Programme, p. 35 (in German)

Manual for supervisorsHide

"Supervisors have constant contact with their employees, so there is a relationship of trust. It is therefore primarily the task of supervisors to keep an eye on the issue of violence from prevention to aftercare. The manual provides supervisors with the information they need."

Source: Website "Employee Protection from Violence" of the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance and Home Affairs (in German).

The complete Violence Protection ProgrammeHide

The complete violence protection programme is available to all interested parties on the website "Employee Protection from Violence" of the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance and Home Affairs:
  

Preventing Violence

The University of Bayreuth is constantly working to increase the safety of its employees and all university members. Central instruments for this are
  

  • the regularly conducted risk assessment according to § 5 ArbSchG, as well as
  • the systematic documentation and evaluation of incidents of violence.

All supervisors are asked to identify and report specific needs for the violence protection in their areas of responsibility. In addition, all employees can contribute their suggestions for improving violence protection.

Ways of preventing violenceHide

An overview of proposed measures by the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance and Home Affairs offers help in identifying preventive violence protection measures. 
  

Your suggestion for enhanced violence protectionHide

Where do you see requirements for improving violence protection at the University of Bayreuth?

Mail your suggestion to the Reporting Office for Incidents of Violence or contact the officers in person.

Intervening in Cases of Violence

Is someone being threatened or attacked?
  

  • Support colleagues who are affected.
  • Do not put yourself in danger.
  • Call the police (emergency number 110) and the security service (0921 55-3333).
Overview: Emergency numbers and behaviour in emergenciesHide

On the website of the University of Bayreuth you will find an overview of all emergency numbers with information on how to behave in an emergency.

Intervention options for incidents of violenceHide

A brochure published by the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance and Home Affairs provides detailed information on how to intervene in incidents of violence at different levels of risk:
  

Aftercare for violent offences and transgressions

Immediate collegial support

All employees are asked to provide help and support to their colleagues after an incident of violence. It is helpful to ask the following questions:
  

  • How are you doing?
  •  Do you need medical help or other support?
  •  Have your superiors already been informed?
  •  Should relatives be informed?

The following members of the staff council offer collegial support to all employees as immediate helpers:

Carmela Herrmann
(Chairperson of the Staff Council)
E-Mail: Herrmann.Personalrat@uni-bayreuth.de
Phone: 0921 55-2163
Ulrich Voit
(Deputy Chairperson of the Staff Council)
E-Mail: Ulrich.Voit@uni-bayreuth.de
Phone: 0921 55-3251 oder 0921 55-2316
Handbook for immediate collegial helpHide

A handbook is available for collegial immediate helpers. It includes
  

  • Tasks and goals of collegial emergency assistance
  • Hints on when to reach out to the person affected
  • Guidelines for conducting a meeting.

The manual is available for download on the website "Employee Protection from Violence" of the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance and Home Affairs:
  

Central Reporting Office

The University of Bayreuth has installed a central reporting office and contact point for incidents of violence. It is located at the Diversity Service Centre.

The reporting office
  

  • is the contact point for victims and superiors after incidents of violence
  • coordinates aftercare
  • refers to internal and external counselling and support services
  • records violent offences and transgressions in order to improve the protection against violence.

Contact us

Dr. Stefan Kurth
E-Mail: stefan.kurth@uni-bayreuth.de 
Phone: 0921 55-7870

Ariane Leeven (Stellvertretung)
E-Mail: ariane.leeven@uni-bayreuth.de 
Phone: 0921 55-7880

Reporting and aftercare procedures for incidents of violenceHide

  
1) The person affected by an incident of violence shall immediately inform their immediate superior.

2) The superior should hold a meeting with the person concerned as soon as possible. The meeting has the following functions:
  

  • To provide assistance and support to the person concerned,
  • to record the incident of violence in writing
  • to refer the person concerned to the reporting office for further support,
  • to determine the need for further action.

3) The supervisor should immediately report the incident of violence to the university's reporting office.

4) The reporting office records the incident of violence and coordinates follow-up steps:

a. in the case of potential criminal offences:
  

  • The reporting office informs the Provost and the Human Resources Department about the incident.
  • If requested, the Human Resources Department shall advise the person concerned on the possibilities of filing criminal charges and a demand for a penalty as well as on questions of legal protection.
  • In the case of criminal relevance, the President or the Provost shall examine whether criminal charges and, if necessary, a demand for a penalty are filed if the person concerned is positive or neutral about it.
  • If requested, the reporting office advises the person affected on university support options and regional contact points.
  • The reporting office involves the occupational health service at the request of the person concerned or the superior.
  • The Provost discusses the act of violence with responsible departments and superiors with a view to improving preventive protection against violence.
  • The reporting office records the act of violence anonymously for statistical purposes for the State Ministry of Finance and Home Affairs.

b. in the event of transgressions:
  

  • The reporting office advises the person concerned on university support options and regional contact points if requested.
  • At the request of the person concerned or the superior, the reporting office will involve the occupational health service.
  • The reporting office evaluates transgressions with a view to improving the preventive protection against violence and submits an annual report to the President and the Provost with recommendations for action.
Violence Incident Report FormHide

The reporting form for incidents of violence serves to provide coordinated follow-up of incidents of violence, to improve preventive protection against violence at the University of Bayreuth and to statistically document incidents of violence in the public service in Bavaria in an anonymous manner.

Criminal charges and demand for a penaltyHide

"The criminal complaint, colloquially also often called a complaint, refers to the simple notification of a fact to the law enforcement authorities. The criminal complaint is therefore a mere communication of facts that informs the prosecution authorities of a certain circumstance. In other words, a fact is disclosed that could be relevant under criminal law.

In contrast to the criminal complaint, the demand for a penalty is the actual request in writing to the police, public prosecutor's office or court to prosecute a certain offence. A time limit of three months from the moment the aggrieved party becomes aware of the offence must be observed for this purpose. The criminal complaint is the applicant's declaration that a prosecution is expressly desired and that a fact is not merely to be made known to the prosecuting authorities."

Source: Violence Protection Programme, p. 89 (in German)

"Certain criminal offences (e.g. insult, simple and negligent bodily harm, damage to property) are generally only prosecuted at the request of the injured person."

Source: Violence Protection Programme, p. 88 (in German)

The Bavarian State Government provides a form for filing a criminal complaint/demand for a penalty by the supervisor:
  

Possible aftercare measuresHide

An overview of possible measures after an incident of violence can be found on the website "Employee Protection from Violence" of the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance and Home Affairs in the section "Aftercare".
  

Regional counselling and contact points

The website "Bayern gegen Gewalt" (Bavaria against violence) of the Bavarian State Ministry for Family Affairs, Labour and Social Affairs provides a comprehensive overview of regional and Bavaria-wide counselling and contact points for incidents of violence:
  

  

  

  


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