Statutes of the Association for Protection against Psychiatric Violence e.V. of 8.5.2007

§ 1 Name, seat and business year

  1. The association bears the name: Association for Protection from Psychiatric Violence.
  2. It is independent of party politics and denominations.
  3. It is based in Berlin and is registered in the Charlottenburg Register of Associations. Upon registration, the association bears the suffix “e.V.”.
  4. The fiscal year is the calendar year.

§ 2 Purpose and tasks of the association

  1. The Association promotes charitable purposes by selflessly supporting persons who are dependent on the help of others due to their physical, mental or psychological condition. Furthermore, it promotes public health care.
  2. The purpose of the association is realized as follows:
    1. Support of independent institutions which serve the counseling and care of persons who have been or are to be placed in psychiatric institutions and which promote the independent and responsible living of these persons through their work.
    2. Creation and maintenance of the facility “Weglaufhaus” for the temporary admission of persons affected by psychiatry for their support, care and counseling in the sense of the following (c) to (e).
    3. Promote the “therapeutic” approach that electroshock and other shock procedures, as well as the use before psychotropic drugs, are not instruments for curing or improving the state of health of psychiatric patients.
    4. Promotion of new, alternative offers to psychiatry based on psychotropic drug-free support and excluding any coercive measures.
    5. To promote and restore the physical health and mental well-being of psychiatric patients, in particular in the “Weglaufhaus” to be set up by the Association, by:
      • Qualified counseling and support in the withdrawal of psychiatric psychotropic drugs,
      • Support in coming to terms with psychological problems and integrative confrontation with the contents of extreme psychological experiences through the establishment of relationships of trust, individual, group discussions, continuous accompaniment and, if necessary, referral to therapists,
      • Offer of curative practical procedures, body work under guidance such as yoga, gymnastics, dancing; leisure activities such as cooperation in the establishment of a bicycle workshop, cinema trips, excursions, etc.,
      • Support in practical life issues as well as social and legal problems such as accompaniment to offices, courts, support in finding housing and employment,
      • Cooperation with the public institutions of existing health care for the benefit of those affected by psychiatry on the basis of help for self-help to strengthen and stabilize self-determination.
  3. The tasks to paragraph 2 are also to be fulfilled by informing the public, e.g. by participation in professional congresses, lectures, publications in professional journals, etc.; furthermore by the promotion of self-help groups and the cooperation with other initiatives.

§ 3 Tax concession

  1. The Association exclusively and directly pursues charitable or benevolent welfare purposes within the meaning of the section “Tax-privileged purposes” of the Tax Code of 1977, as amended. It operates selflessly; it does not primarily pursue its own economic purposes.
  2. The Association’s funds may only be used for purposes in accordance with the Articles of Association. The members may not receive any shares in profits and, in their capacity as members, may not receive any other benefits from the Association’s funds.
  3. The association does not favor any person by expenses that are not related to the purpose of the association or by disproportionately high remunerations.
  4. In the event of the dissolution of the Association or in the event of the discontinuation of its previous purpose, the assets of the Association shall only be transferred to another tax-privileged corporation, which shall use them exclusively and directly for tax-privileged purposes within the meaning of the Tax Code of 1977 as amended. Reference is made to § 12.
  5. Decisions on the future use of the Association’s assets in the event of the dissolution of the Association or the discontinuation of its previous purpose may only be carried out after the approval of the tax office.

§ 4 Membership

  1. Ordinary and supporting members belong to the Association.
  2. All persons of full age who seek protection from psychiatric violence as well as all natural persons and legal entities of full age who cooperate bindingly in the tasks of the association can become full members.
  3. Supporting members can become all natural and legal persons of full age who support the goals of the association or actively take on tasks of the association. Supporting members do not have the right to vote in the general meeting.
  4. The amount of the membership fee is decided by the general meeting. The prerequisite and procedure for a reduction shall be decided by the General Meeting.
  5. Each member has the right to be informed by the Association of the total number of regular and psychiatrically affected members within 3 days upon request.
  6. Each member is entitled to have the Association send letters to other members; the member must advance the costs, including expenses for related activities.
  7. Membership is acquired by oral or written application, which is accepted provisionally by the Board and finally by the General Meeting. Until the decision of the general meeting, the decision of the board is valid. The decision of the general meeting has no retroactive effect.
  8. The membership expires
    • by death,
    • by written notice of resignation at the end of the month,
    • by a decision of the board of directors by exclusion, if after a change of address a notification of the new address to the association has been omitted for 6 months,
    • if the obligatory cooperation in the tasks of the association ends: then the board can decide the exclusion as an ordinary member of the association. If desired, the ordinary membership can be converted into a supporting membership. In case of doubt, the majority of the members present at the general meeting decides on the end of the binding cooperation.
    • by exclusion. For an exclusion the request of a member of the association is necessary. The board of directors decides. The member must be given the opportunity to justify or comment before the decision is made. The general meeting can change the board’s decision retroactively upon request – also by the excluded member. The excluded member must be notified of the exclusion by simple postal delivery – if the address is known.

§ 5 Organs of the Association

Organs of the association are: the general meeting, the regular meeting of the association, the board, the management and the advisory board.

§ 6 General Meeting

  1. The regular members form the general meeting. Supporting members can participate in the regular general meeting in an advisory capacity. The general meeting has a quorum if it has been properly convened.
  2. The ordinary general meeting takes place once a year. The meeting is convened in writing by the board of directors at least two weeks in advance, stating the agenda. With the invitation to the meeting of the members are to be communicated if necessary:
    • the upcoming elections,
    • Proposals for amendments to the statutes in the wording,
    • Motions for dissolution of the Association; if a motion for dissolution has been made, the agenda shall indicate that a decision must be made on the use of the remaining assets of the Association; otherwise, a resolution on the use of assets shall be invalid,
    • the names of those to be admitted, those to be excluded and those already excluded in accordance with § 4 Para. 8.
  3. Extraordinary general meetings shall be held upon request
    • of the board of directors,
    • the regular meeting of the association,
    • of at least 20% of the ordinary members in total,
    • by 20% of the regular members affected by psychiatry,
    • as well as, if the interest of the association requires it.
    The convocation takes place in the same way as for the ordinary general meeting.
  4. The General Assembly decides on the size of the Board, elects it and gives it guidelines for the work of the Association. It can elect the management and decides the rules of procedure of the association. It receives the activity and financial report and decides whether and to what extent the members of the board are discharged.
  5. The ordinary members present are entitled to vote. The participation rights of people who were or are inmates in psychiatric institutions (hereinafter referred to as people affected by psychiatry) are particularly protected in the Association for the Protection against Psychiatric Violence. A resolution of the general meeting is valid if a simple majority of the members present and entitled to vote votes in favor of it; it is nevertheless invalid if a simple majority of the members affected by psychiatry present votes against it. A board member is elected if a majority of the voting members present vote for the board member; however, he or she is not elected if a majority of the voting psychiatric members present vote against the board member. Abstentions shall not be counted. The general meeting shall decide by resolution whether it can be assumed with sufficient certainty that a member is psychiatrically affected.
  6. Minutes must be taken of all resolutions of the general meeting and must be signed by the keeper of the minutes and the chairperson of the meeting.
  7. The general meeting decides at which intervals the members and the advisory board are to be informed in writing about the association’s activities, including the board’s decisions, at the expense of the association.

§ 7 Regular meeting of the association

  1. The regular association meeting arranges the current business of the organized protection against psychiatric violence, as far as resolutions of the executive committee or the meeting of the members do not oppose.
  2. It consists of the employees of the Association for Protection from Psychiatric Violence who are members of the Association and the psychiatric patients who enjoy the protection of the Association and are also members of the Association.

§ 8 Treasurer

A member of the board is elected by the general meeting for the task of the treasurer. The treasurer is liable for shortages only in case of intent or gross negligence. He/she may delegate accounting tasks.

§ 9 Board of Directors

  1. The executive committee manages the current business of the association. It consists of at least 3 and at most 5 members including the treasurer.
  2. It is elected by the general meeting for one year. It can be voted out prematurely with a simple majority of the general meeting. The board is bound by resolutions of the general meeting. Decisions of the board can be rescinded by the general meeting afterwards. Re-election is possible. After the expiry of the term of office of the board remains in office until a new one is elected.
  3. The board decides by simple majority. It has a quorum if at least half of the board members are present. Resolutions may be passed in writing or by telephone. Minutes shall be kept of the resolutions. The Executive Board shall adopt rules of procedure.
  4. The external representation of the association is carried out by two members of the board. For transactions with a value of more than 5.000,- € for long-term liabilities and in individual cases as well as the hiring and dismissal of employees of the association, the board must act jointly by a majority.

§ 10 Management

  1. Upon proposal of the board, a management can be appointed by the general meeting.
  2. The management, consisting of one or more persons, conducts the day-to-day business of the association alongside the board. The management is responsible for the implementation of the board’s resolutions and for business dealings with third parties.
  3. Their term of office ends when they are voted out of office at the general meeting. Until they are voted out of office by the general meeting, their authority to manage the association can be suspended by a resolution of the board.

§ 11 Advisory Board

  1. The advisory board consists of people who, by their social function, have the ability to advocate for the interests of the association in public.
  2. The board of directors appoints the members of the advisory board.
  3. The Advisory Board supports the Association and its work by providing suggestions and advice.
  4. The advisory board is informed about the work of the association. The members of the advisory board can participate in an advisory capacity in general meetings, board meetings and the regular meetings of the association.

§ 12 Amendments to the Statutes

  1. If changes to the statutes are desired, a majority of ¾ of the members present at the general meeting is required.
  2. Amendments to the statutes required by courts or tax authorities for formal reasons may be made by the board on its own initiative. These changes to the statutes must be communicated in writing to all members of the association as soon as possible.

§ 13 Dissolution and Commitment of Assets

  1. A majority of ¾ of the members present at the general meeting is required to dissolve the association.
  2. In case of dissolution of the Association or in case of discontinuation of the tax-privileged purposes, the assets of the Association shall be transferred to another tax-privileged corporation, which shall use them directly and exclusively for the promotion of public health care.

§ 14 Severability clause

These Articles of Association shall remain valid even if individual provisions of the Articles of Association prove to be invalid. The invalid provision of the Articles of Association shall then be supplemented or applied by the General Meeting in a legally effective form in such a way that the purpose intended by the invalid provision is achieved as far as possible. The same procedure shall be followed if the implementation of the Articles of Association reveals a gap requiring supplementation.

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