Swiss domestic violence cases on the rise 

Women in Switzerland have held protests against rising domestic violence, which was an issue during the 2019 women's strike. Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi

Swiss police registered 19,669 cases of domestic violence last year, up 6.2% on the previous year. 

This content was published on October 6, 2020 - 12:16

Twenty-nine people died in Switzerland in 2019 as a result of domestic violence, according to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), meaning that two- thirds of all homicides last year were the result of abuse by a partner. Every four weeks a woman is killed within a partnership, it says.  

Half of all recorded domestic violence crimes occurred in an existing relationship, while 28% were perpetrated by ex-partners who committed psychological and/or physical violence. In 72% of cases women were harmed, while in 28% men were the victims. 

Forms of violence recorded by the police included assault (32%), threats (22%), insults (19%) and bodily harm (10%). 

Experts point out that there are also a high number of cases that go unreported. According to Susan Peter, who heads the federation of Swiss women’s shelters, many women do not go to the police for fear of more violence or loss of reputation. 

While statistics for 2020 are not yet available, victim support groups fear domestic violence may have increased, especially during the spring coronavirus lockdown.  

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