Christiane Völling: Hermaphrodite wins Damage Claim over Removal of Reproductive Organs

Rally on occasion of 1st day in “Zwitter Lawsuit”, Cologne, 12.12.2007
(L.t.r.: Elisabeth Müller, Daniela “Nella” Truffer, Katrin Ann Kunze †, Christiane Völling)

Christiane Völling was the first, and as far as we know only, survivor to successfully sue her mutilator. (In all other cases we know of a lawsuits were made impossible because of the statue of limitations.)

Cologne – A surgeon was ordered to pay 100,000 euros (141,500 dollars) in compensation on Wednesday for performing an operation converting a hermaphrodite into a man without consent more than 30 years ago.

Claimant Christiane Völling, who was born without defining gender characteristics, was 18 years old when her reproductive organs were surgically removed without prior information or consent.

Christiane Völling, now aged 50, had described years of suffering after the operation, including physical impairments, pain and psychological problems. During the trial, seen as setting a precedent, while she demanded ‘at least’ 100,000 euros in compensation, she said she mostly sought ‘moral recompense.’

>>> Full Text: Christiane Völling: Hermaphrodite wins damage claim over removal of reproductive organs (DPA) 

3 thoughts on “Christiane Völling: Hermaphrodite wins Damage Claim over Removal of Reproductive Organs”

  1. I support your aims, but you should avoid using words like ‘herm*phrodite’, which many intersex people consider derogatory and misleading. I encourage you to edit your pages to avoid usage of this terminology. Thanks.

    • Hermaphrodite is a well accepted medical and scientific term. There’s nothing derogatory about it. I don’t know anyone, especially not an intersex person, who would actually be offended by this. While I appreciate your sympathetic stance, please understand that intersex people are A-OK with scientific terminology and do not require you to become offended on our behalf.

  2. hi, thanks for your comment! like many other organisations and individuals, is reclaiming the h-word in public political discourse, because in our experience it’s the least unclear word for people who don’t know much about the topic yet (obviously the vast majority), though in most cases we just talk about children born with ‘atypical genitals’.

    we mostly avoid ‘inters*x’ in public discourse because most uninformed people seem getting all the wrong ideas about it, i.e. hardly notice it’s against the mutilations but instead get derailed by the ‘S*X!’-part and their ideas and fantasies about that.

    however, we’re aware that others prefer ‘inters*x’, see http://humanrights.4hermaphrodites2… , and we don’t want to tell others which words to use when describing themselves or to call others by the h-word who don’t want that. which in our opinion goes both ways: christiane völling usually described herself in public as ‘zwitter’, a unique german word best translated as ‘hermaphrodite’.


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