Our statement on the court decision for abuse of power at the University of Göttingen from 30.03.2022

Background information (trigger warning: sexualized violence): NDR Artikel und NDR Video (German only)

We have thought for a long time about how we could write about what has been done to our colleagues by their PhD supervisor and superior, while being respectful towards the victims. Much has already been said about this in the (social) media. We are still unsettled and apologize in advance if this blog entry is perceived as not respectful by any of women affected. You have the sovereignty of interpretation.

First of all, we would like to express our sympathy and solidarity to the victims. We are stunned by the court decision and its reasoning. We cannot even imagine how you are feeling at the moment. What has happened makes us deeply concerned, sad and angry.

As an initiative for all employees of the University of Göttingen, which points out the precarious working conditions that arise from temporary employment. We are personally familiar with the problem. Unfortunately, we are also aware of cases of abuse of power by superiors, colleagues among our initiative experienced.

Therefore, in this entry, we would like to encourage our colleagues who are confronted with these abusive structures. You are not alone! In the last few days, we have received many messages from colleagues from initiatives all over Germany, expressing their solidarity and sympathy and finding the verdict simply wrong. Here is an example:

We want to encourage colleagues who are currently confronted with such abuse of power to seek help and break their silence. In the meantime, there is a different legal situation as well as independent counseling centers such as the Network against Abuse of Power in Science, as well as the Women’s Counseling Center and Women Helpline in Göttingen, which you can contact.

And for all of you who need this right now: You are not responsible for what happened to you! You are not alone! The problem is a systemic one that can only be changed through comprehensive reforms. It is not and never was your fault!

Finally, we appeal to university presidents and politicians: End the dependency-promoting employment policies of university employees in science, technology and administration! For equality-oriented, comprehensive permanent contracts of all status groups! For the good of all[University’s slogan]!