The Violence Protection Act (GewSchG) became law on 01.01.2002 in Germany. Since that date domestic violence is no longer a private matter.
At the end of the 1990s, the Federal Government had initiated an "Action Plan to Combat Violence against Women", thus paving the way for the implementation of the Act on the Protection of Violence, which entered into force on 1st January 2002. The measures to implement the action plan should provide greater protection and a vigorous life perspective for women and children in violent relations.
The Act on the Protection against Violence also takes account of the basic right to physical integrity, which is set forth in the Basic Law, also with regard to the private living environment. This is a demand made by the German women's movement in the 1960s.
The concrete aim of the Act on the Protection of Violence is to defend victims of domestic violence by means of effective, fast and effectively enforceable civil protection arrangements against violence, threats and harassment. The nationwide action plan to combat violence against women also includes prevention, cooperation between governmental and non-governmental aid agencies, nationwide networking of aid offerings, measures for perpetrators, public awareness campaigns and international cooperation.
The Round Table Kleve dedicated the first specialist conference in October 2003 to the topic: "Violence at home - and no end in sight?" and did an inventory after two years the Law on the Protection of Violence was effective.