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Domestic violence Justice minister calls for better support of crime victims

Electronic bracelets could be used to help stalking victims by providing documented proof of a stalker's approach or contact

(Keystone)

In the context of increasing reports of domestic violence, Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga has called for improvements to a law aimed at assisting victims of criminal offences.

Despite early intervention efforts as part of Switzerland’s Victim Support Actexternal link, more than 17,000 domestic offensesexternal link were reported and registered by police in 2016 – a 2% increase over the previous year. Hospitals also registered a record number of mistreatment cases, said the justice minister on Friday at a conference in Bern.

Sommaruga also called for improvements to the law, which entered into force 25 years ago, and allows victims of criminal offenses committed in Switzerland and their families to obtain medical, psychological or legal assistance, as well as financial compensation.

The justice minister announced that she will propose to the Swiss cabinet new tools for better protecting against violence, including plans for caring for victims following a major event such as a terrorist attack.

Another proposed strategy is better protection against stalking offences by using an electronic bracelet to monitor compliance with prohibitions against approach or contact. This measure will help address the problem that many victims currently face of providing documented evidence of stalking, according to Sommaruga.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/cl


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