ViContact - First interviews in case of suspicion of sexual abuse - Professionalisation of student teachers through practice in virtual scenes

Children and young people spend a large part of their time at school, where both educational and educational processes take place and social relationships are established with both classmates and educational staff. With the emergence of trust relationships with teachers, they are also potential contacts for pupils who have become victims of sexual violence. In addition, teachers may also have suspicions of sexual abuse when dealing with their pupils, which may give rise to conversations in everyday pedagogical life. Teachers are obliged to make an active contribution to protecting the welfare of the child, not only because of their educational mandate and their educational ethos, but also because of a legal requirement to protect the welfare of the child (§4 KKG).

Key facts

ViContact, sexual, abuse
04/01/2018 - 06/30/2021
University institutions
Centre for Education, Teaching, School and Socialization Research (ZeBUSS), Department of Psychology in the Field of Special Education


The aim of the planned research project is to prepare prospective teachers for this first contact in a training course, to impart relevant knowledge to them, but above all to give them options for action so that they do not look away, remain silent or cause irreversible damage. In addition to imparting knowledge, e.g. on risk and protective factors or on legal foundations (psychoeducation), the focus of the training to be conceived will be on initial interviews with those potentially affected by sexual abuse, by offering concrete feedback-supported exercise options using virtual realities (VR) in addition to action-relevant knowledge. This involves taking up offers of conversation, conducting appropriate conversations, correct subsequent conversation documentation and initiating concrete measures to protect the best interests of the child. In this way, prospective teachers can learn to act for the first time in situations that cannot be practiced frequently in everyday school life, but which, in order to protect the best interests of the child, must be mastered unagitatedly and with a great deal of confidence.

In the Flensburg sub-project, the training programme to be conceived will be drawn up in cooperation with the network partners in Berlin and Göttingen with the involvement of a specialist advisory board and will be carried out and evaluated with around 200 student teachers. The developed and evaluated materials will be made available for further development and use by experts. The project aims to contribute to the professionalisation of teachers in this field.

The project is part of a joint project with Prof. Dr. Renate Volbert (Psychological University of Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Jürgen L. Müller (Georg August University of Göttingen, special professorship for forensic psychiatry and psychotherapy). The project is managed by Dr. Simone Pülschen.
In the Flensburg subproject there is a cooperation with the counselling centre of the Studentenwerk Schleswig-Holstein and the police department of the Fachhochschule für Verwaltung und Dienstleitung Altenholz.


+49 461 805 2056
Gebäude Riga 5
RIG 509
Auf dem Campus 1a
Post code / City
24943 Flensburg

Project members


The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)