The termination of the proceedings against Rammstein singer Lindemann was to be expected. The case again reveals the mistakes in dealing with sexual offenses in Germany.
The rapid termination of the investigation against Till Lindemann is a sign of failure for the German judiciary. It shows those affected by sexualized violence that it is not worth fighting for their rights and the punishment of the alleged perpetrators.
Most sex crimes cases are dropped without a conviction, if reported at all. Because for the women concerned, the hurdles are often too high. This has been known for a long time, little has changed so far. For those affected, there is only one way.
Against your own instinct
If a woman is the victim of sexualised violence, she has to resist her first instinct – to take a hot shower, to hole up, to forget what she has experienced. She must immediately realize and correctly classify what has just happened to her. Then she has to go to the medical forensics and to the police. Anyone who has ever lodged a complaint with the police knows how it feels.
You’re sitting across from a complete stranger – a police officer, if you’re lucky, at least a female police officer. She explains the consequences of making false statements. And if there is a court case, you have to see the perpetrator again. During the entire trial you will have to repeat the course of events several times and reveal the most intimate details. For affected women this is a horror.
Under sexualized violence any form of violence that is expressed in sexual assault is understood. The term “sexualised” violence makes it clear that the sexual acts are carried out as a means to an end, i.e. to exercise power and violence. This includes both physical and verbal abuse, obscene gestures or messages. Not all of these forms are punishable, however.
protection of anonymity
That is probably why numerous women have not contacted the police in recent months, but have approached the media. They accuse Lindemann of sexualized violence and independently described similar experiences.
Many of the women remained anonymous in the reports, probably out of fear of hatred and hate speech against them. And for fear of being stigmatized by society.
No protection for victims
Of course, the public prosecutor’s objection that the investigation was made more difficult by the fact that those affected did not contact the police or the public prosecutor’s office is justified. But is that a miracle? When the victims are expected to do all this? When you see how seldom there is actually a guilty verdict? The Lindemann case should be a lesson for the German judiciary.
However, the case, in which several months or even years could be determined, has been filed. It is unclear whether there would have been any further investigations. But the process shows once again that the current legal situation protects suspected perpetrators instead of those affected by sexualised violence. He shows women once again that their voices do not count in the German judiciary – even if several of them unanimously report their experiences of abuse by one and the same man.
There is only small consolation for those affected: Lindemann, who likes to pose on stage with a giant penis and does not skimp on misogynist fantasies of violence in his texts, could at least not be expressly declared innocent in the absence of charges. However, this should not protect possible future victims.
Share your opinion
What do you think about the termination of the proceedings against Till Lindemann? Write an e-mail to [email protected]. Please use the subject “Lindemann” and give reasons.