From the MHH

MHH Professor Anette Debertin receives the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon

Order of Merit recognizes the forensic pathologist's commitment to innovative and effective child and victim protection.

Prof. Dr. Anette Debertin and Hanover's Lord Mayor Belit Onay in the council chamber of the New Town Hall.

Prof. Dr Anette Debertin was presented with the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon by Hanover's Lord Mayor Belit Onay in the Council Chamber of the New Town Hall. Copyright: City of Hanover.

The Institute of Forensic Medicine at Hannover Medical School (MHH) offers two particularly innovative and effective support services for victims of violence: the forensic child protection outpatient clinic and the ProBeweis network for victims of domestic and/or sexual violence. Both services are inextricably linked to the name of Prof. Dr. Anette Debertin - the forensic pathologist not only initiated the establishment of both institutions, she has also been their director for more than ten years.

Anette Debertin has now been awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for her services by the Lord Mayor of Hanover, Belit Onay. The Lord Mayor paid tribute to the forensic pathologist's unparalleled personal commitment: "With her dedication, Anette Debertin makes a significant contribution to improving care for victims of violence and thus to the protection of children and victims."

Services close diagnostic care gap

The doctor at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the MHH has been tirelessly committed to the interests of child and victim protection for more than twelve years. "Our nationwide structures close an unacceptable gap in the low-threshold care of victims of violence and make an important contribution to strengthening victim protection and victims' rights. I would like to thank our Lower Saxony Ministry for Social Affairs, Labor, Health and Equality as well as my colleagues in forensic medicine and the MHH for their ongoing support," said Professor Debertin in her acceptance speech.

MHH President Prof. Dr. Michael Manns particularly emphasized the socio-political significance of Professor Debertin's work: "Through Professor Debertin's extraordinary personal commitment, we as a university are making a valuable contribution to the care of victims of violence and are helping to solve a socially relevant issue."

Child protection outpatient clinic offers low-threshold services

Since 2011, the child protection outpatient clinic has been offering Lower Saxony's medical practices, clinics and public health services expert advice and qualified medical diagnostics in cases of suspected child abuse and suspected sexual abuse - regardless of whether a criminal complaint has been filed. Competence and expert knowledge are made available quickly, easily and without complications, and both incriminating and exonerating findings are documented and evaluated in court. In more than ten years, the forensic child protection outpatient clinic has established itself as an important point of contact throughout Lower Saxony in around 2000 consultations.

ProBeweis works in absolute confidence

Every third woman in Germany experiences physical and/or sexualized violence at least once in her life. Only rarely is a report made to the police immediately after the crime. The ProBeweis network, which was launched in 2012, can still help victims: Trained doctors secure and document the traces of the act of violence and produce findings that can be used in court - regardless of whether a report is made. On this basis, an expert opinion relevant to the proceedings can be drawn up even years after the crime. The network now comprises 45 examination centers throughout Lower Saxony, and forensic evidence collection has been a health insurance-funded service since January 1, 2024.

Text: Simone Corpus