More than 500 people have demonstrated across Switzerland after five young women were attacked in Geneva last week. The protests, organised by the Young Socialists Switzerland, took place on Sunday in Bern, Basel, Zurich and Lausanne.
On Wednesday, five women aged 22-33 were attacked in Geneva by a group of men outside a nightclub just after 5am. Two had to be taken to hospital with serious head injuries, one of whom is still in a coma. The following day, around 100 outraged citizens took to the streets of Geneva, followed by demonstrations in other Swiss cities.
“What happened in Geneva is just one piece of news that can be added to a long list of violent attacks against women,” said Géraldine Savary, a member of the Senate for the leftwing Social Democratic Party, in Lausanne.
“But we all know that this isn’t a one-off and that women are victims of sexism, misogyny and violence.”
In Bern and Zurich, the motto was “All for one”. In the Swiss capital, president of the Young Socialists Tamara Funiciello said violence against women was like a pyramid. “It begins with a sexist joke and harassment and ends with rape and honour killings,” she said.
More than 17,600 domestic offences were reported and registered by police in 2016 – a 13% increase over the two previous years. Nineteen people, mainly women, died as a result of domestic violence.