Advisory service
It is quite possible, that the BackUp staff may not be able to provide any advisory service to you in your mother tongue. In such case, however, we will look for any translator/interpreter who can then provide our advisory service to you in your language.

1.    We provide advice, information and support services to the following individuals:

  • Victims of right-wing, racist and anti-Semitic violence;
  • Relatives and friends of the victims, as well as witnesses of an attack.

2.    What can BackUp do specifically for you as a person concerned?

The BackUp-staff is able to provide you with the following services:

  • Paying attention and listening to you, providing you with the opportunity to describe your concerns within a protected environment and, in addition, offering psychosocial advice;
  • supporting you during the emotional processing of your experience and, upon your request, refer you also to trauma outpatient clinics and therapists;
  • investigating the degree of further threat and analysing the situation in collaboration with you;
  • providing advice regarding potential questions on the filing of a criminal complaint.
  • accompanying you to the police, upon your request, as well as to lawyers, authorities and doctors;
  • supporting you in the preparation and follow up of the court proceedings and accompanying you safely to the court hearing;
  • clarifying any claims for compensation and assisting you when filling out any financial aid forms;
  • providing advice  when dealing with media and journalists‘ enquiries and, upon your request, supporting you with any public relations work.

3. What should you pay attention to right after an attack has occurred? /  How should you react?

The following points should be observed directly at the primary crime scene:

  • Try to remain calm or try to draw attention to yourself very loudly.
  • Get yourself to safety.
  • Ask bystanders for help and talk to them directly.
  • Talk to witnesses.

Documentation after an attack has occurred:

  • Take photographs of all injuries and damage.
  • Go to see a doctor and show all of your injuries.
  • Make sure that you also inform the doctor, if you feel mentally ill. 
  • Please ask the doctor to issue a medical certificate.
  • It has to be ensured that the doctor includes all injuries and damages on the medical certificate.

Try to write an incident memo as early as possible.

  • When and where did the attack take place?
  • What happened during the attack?
  • What did the attackers look like? What did they do and how many of them were there?
  • What did you do?
  • Who saw the attack? 
  • Were there any witnesses?

Self-care after an attack had occurred:

  • Do not hold yourself accountable for the attack.
  • Be aware of your thoughts and feelings and accept them as normal reactions.
  • Try to not spend much time alone. Ask other people for help.
  • Look for psychological support, if you are not yet feeling well – even weeks after the occurrence of the attack.

BackUp can help you with the following:

  • Joining you when making a report at the police station and when you go and see a lawyer, other authorities and the doctor;
  • mediating between you and psychotherapists as well as in regards to lawyers;
  • providing you with assistance when it comes to applying for financial support; 
  • providing you with advice  when dealing with the media;
  • advising you in all issues relating the attack. 

Police, filing of criminal charges and your legal rights:

  • It is entirely up to you whether you would like to contact the police by telephone or make a report in person at the police station. 
  • As a victim you are entitled to file a criminal complaint.
  • You are not obligated to go to the police station, the public prosecutor’s office or the court all by yourself.
  • You are entitled to use an interpreter when you testify. Please make sure that you ask for using an interpreter, if it has not yet been organised.

Our advisory service:

  • is oriented towards your wishes and requirements;
  • is free of charge;
  • treats your personal data confidentially and, upon request, also anonymously;
  • takes your perspectives as basis and stands unequivocally by your side.

4. What is meant by “right-wing violence”?

Right-wing acts of violence are attacks that are characterised by misanthropic world views and prejudices against specific social groups. They express certain historically developed and socially widespread ideologies of exclusion. These include, for example, racism, anti-Semitism, social Darwinism, ableism as well as homophobia and transphobia.

Right-wing violence is not directed aimlessly or blindly against all people. It rather focuses on very specific target groups. For example, if you were attacked,

  • because of your alternative appearance and/or your non-right-wing attitude,
  • because of your sexual orientation and/or gender identity,
  • because of your disability,
  • because of your socially disadvantaged position,
  • because of your political activity against the extreme right,
  • because of your religious affiliation; 
  • or because of racist or anti-Semitic motives.

However, these may be attributions of perpetrators that do not necessarily correspond to your self-perception or your reality.

For us, your personal perception is decisive in terms of the assessment of an act as right-wing violence.

5. Understanding violence

For BackUp, all forms of physical violence are the starting point for the advisory work, including those cases where the attack was merely attempted, but not yet performed and where there was a serious threat of violence. The latter can also have serious psychological consequences. Physical violence includes assault and homicide, arson and robbery. In addition, according to our understanding, massive coercion, threats and targeted damage to property, with significant consequences for those affected, are also considered as acts of violence.

What can be done after a right-wing attack took place?

Immediately after an attack has occurred, it is important to locate the victim and take good care of him/her. In this case, the priority is to calm the victim down and to mediate and restore safety and security.

6. The principles of our advisory service

  • In principle, we provide our advisory service on a mobile and outreach basis throughout Westphalia-Lippe. However, since you are an affected person, we can either drive directly to your home or to a neutral place of your choice. Appointments in our office are also possible by prior arrangement.
  • We stand unequivocally by your side in accordance with your requirements due to the fact that you are a person affected and support your perspective as well as your interests.
  • Filing a criminal complaint is not a prerequisite for being entitled to receive advisory services. We work independently of the police and courts. The advisory service is also independent on whether the offender is known or has already been identified.
  • The advisory service is free of charge for you and, upon request, it can be also provided anonymously and confidentially.
  • In case of any communication difficulties, we organise a corresponding interpreter who can help us with the translation to a specific language. In this way, we are able to provide our advisory service in several different languages.
  • As a person affected, all of our advisory service is based on your requirements and wishes and therefore, everything takes place exclusively in close consultation with you.

7. Please keep us informed about any right-wing violence.

If you have heard about any extreme right-wing, racist or anti-Semitic incidents or have witnessed such an act, please inform the person affected about our advisory services and how to get in touch with us. However, if the victim does not want to use any advisory service from us, we will still be able to include this incident in our violence statistics. Therefore, we kindly ask you to inform us about each individual case, because it will help us to make right-wing violence visible. 

Please be ensured that personal data will always be kept confidential and will not be passed on to any third parties without the explicit consent of the data subject.