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Switzerland lays out commitment to tackling violence against women

Protest against violence against women
Demonstrators protest violence against women in Geneva in 2018. © Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

The Swiss government has formally adopted a report that sets out the country’s agenda to prevent escalating violence against women.

On average a woman dies every two-and-a-half weeks in Switzerland after being attacked. The numbers of reported domestic abuse cases have been rising for years, peaking at 20,123 last year. Some 27,000 children are also affected by domestic abuse each year, says the report.

Switzerland’s first national report on violence against women is an important step to adopting new measures to curb the rising attacks.

On the basis of the report, the independent GREVIO committee (a group of experts on action to combat violence against women and domestic violence) has been tasked with issuing a set of recommendations by the end of 2022.

Top priority

Switzerland ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul ConventionExternal link) in 2018.

The government, parliament and the cantons have worked together to implement the convention in Switzerland. Measures include the establishment of a hotline and the website “Victim Support SwitzerlandExternal link” for victims of domestic violence.

Laws have been enacted in the past three years to better protect women against violence. The authorities are currently examining changes to the law on rape to make it gender neutral and to make it an offence to force someone into sex even in the absence of threats or violence.

“The government continues to give top priority to combating violence against women and domestic violence,” the Swiss government said on FridayExternal link.

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