Gewaltschutz in Münster

Informationen zum Thema Häusliche Gewalt

Ban from the residence and prohibition of return

The person hitting has to leave. The victim stays at home.

Since 01.01.2002, the Protection against Violence Act has been supplemented by Section 34a of the Police Act in North Rhine-Westphalia in order to improve protection and assistance in cases of domestic violence.
It authorizes the police to ban a person immediately from a residence and to prohibit the individual from returning for up to 10 days.

The following principle applies above all:
The abuser leaves the residence. The victim stays!

This time period can be extended under civil law in accordance with the Protection against Violence Act.

During this time frame you have the opportunity to think about how you wish to proceed (e.g. whether you want to submit additional applications for protection to the competent court as provided under the Protection Against Violence Act).

When does Section 34a of the Police Act apply?

The prerequisites are:

  • a present danger
  • to life, limb or freedom of a person
  • in the common household or in a household where the person at risk resides
  • due to domestic violence.

The condition is that the danger to life, limb or freedom of an individual occurs in the common household or in a household where the person at risk resides. The authorization takes effect only if the person at risk (not necessarily the abuser, too!) lives permanently at the residence in which the dangerous situation is occurring."
(Source: General Administrative and Intervention Law in Police Service Volume 2, 2002, Pg. 292)

The following action can be taken:

  • The police are permitted to enter and, if necessary, to search the residence.
  • The police will follow-up on the crime even without the filing of a complaint, although some offences require that a complaint be filed by the victim.
  • Pursuant to Section 34a of the North Rhine-Westphalia Police Act, the police can ban the abuser immediately from the common residence and prohibit his or her return for up to 10 days. The victim may remain at home.
  • If the abuser acts contrary to the prohibition of return, compulsory measures can be en-forced, such as a fine or the abuser can be taken into police custody.
  • The police will check compliance with the prohibition of return at least once while it is in force.
  • During this period the abuser may not enter the residence without the accompaniment of the police and only in order to retrieve things that are absolutely necessary. The abuser must convince the police of the necessity.
  • The abuser must hand over the front door and residence keys to the police if requested.

Notice: The police will be solely responsible for judging the risk, enforcing the prohibition of return, and following-up on the offence – whether or not this is desired by the victim.
(Source: "Domestic Abuse and Police Action", Pg. 25)

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