Around 1,100 complaints of sexual harassment are filed in Switzerland every year and one-third of all cases end with fines or other punishment, a newspaper survey has found.
Compiling statistics from 24 cantons, the SonntagsZeitung external linknewspaper found that around 1,100 complaints of sexual harassment are lodged every year. Cantonal public prosecutors issued 337 sentence orders last year. National statistics are not available on this issue.
In a recent survey by the institute Marketagent published in SonntagsZeitung, 26% of Swiss residents questioned said they had been victims of sexual harassment. But only 11% of all victims report sexual harassment.
The newspaper article cited several lawyers who said this low rate is probably because of victims’ low chance of success in front of a judge or court, and because the fines handed out are low – generally several hundred francs.
The law permits fines of up to CHF10,000 francs for sexual harassment, and those receiving a fine of over CHF5,000 francs can also get a criminal record. But in practice such high fines are rare.