Ombudsperson Office for Victims of Sexual Violence
It is only reasonable for a continually growing organisation such as the ÖBR to establish such a service.
Thus in autumn 2003 the ÖBR Sangha council decided to establish a Ombudsperson office and thereby agreed on the following tenor: the ombudsperson office is open for affected people. The ombudsperson does not pursue the perpetrator nor is it the contact person for third parties. It operates independent, outside the Buddhist traditions and can thereby preserve the highest possible objectivity.
The ombudsperson office is occupied by trained female and male therapists with a professional approach and experience with the issue of sexual violence. Affected people can directly contact both or either therapist. The therapists are subject to providing professional discretion.
The ombudsperson office is responsible for the mental and moral aspects, not the legal issues. The office is the contact point for all members of the ÖBR and for all those affected within the framework of the ÖBR member groups.
Ombudsperson (female) for victims of sexual violence
0676 43 20 888
Praxis: 1070 Wien, Seidengasse 39a/12
ÖBR Ombudsperson (male) for victims of sexual violence
Dieter Christoph Singer
0699 14 05 1961
Praxis: 1010 Wien, Biberstraße 9/2
The Task of the Ombudsperson Office
Abuse often lies in “grey areas”; often it is unclear for the affected person if it is violence and abuse. The task of the ombudsperson office is to clarify with the affected if such violence and abuse is the case. The ombudsperson office does not initiate any legal action.
The case (without the name of the affected) is forwarded to the executive committee. The committee appraises the allegations on a legal basis. In the first instance legal action should be taken by the affected. Furthermore, a member of the executive committee, in the presence of a supervisor (potentially a Buddhist teacher), undertakes a discussion with the accused for clarification. The executive committee reports to the Sangha council. Incidental costs up to 10 therapy sessions are carried by the ÖBR.
However, if the affected person specifically wishes, the ombudsperson will not inform the executive committee of the case information.