The German Victims' Compensation Act (OEG) is a federal act in the area of social compensation law. The state - as the entity with a monopoly on the right to legitimately exercise force - is responsible for protecting the people within its sovereign territory from acts of violence. If it fails to provide such protection, then the state is liable to the victims pursuant to the provisions of the OEG.
According to the OEG, anyone who suffers injury to his/her health on account of an act of violence has a claim to benefits. These benefits include such things as therapeutic and medical treatment, and a disablement pension. EU citizens are entitled to the same benefits as German nationals. Third-country nationals receive graduated benefits depending on the length of residence, provided that their residence in Germany is lawful.