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Switzerland boosts aid for sexual violence survivors

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Negative social attitudes to rape and sexual assault victims lead to underreporting of these crimes. 


Switzerland is boosting support for sexual violence survivors. It has revamped victim compensation guidelines that, in a first for the country, also factor the psychological toll of sex crimes.

The Federal Office of Justice announced on Thursday the major overhaul of compensation guidelines set out in the Victim Support Actexternal link. The new guidelines were developed in consultation with victim assistance experts and integrated suggestions from an evaluation of the Victim Support Act made in 2015.

For severe impairments resulting from rape, sexual coercion, severe desecration, severe or multiple sexual intercourse with a child, the compensation range is now between CHF8,000 ($8022) and CHF20,000. Previously, the range was CHF10,000 to CHF15,000.

Individuals suffering severe psychological impairments as a result of sexual violence will now receive aid in the CHF15,000 to CHF40,000 range. Such compensation could be given, for example, to individuals with a limited capacity to work as a result of mental disorders rooted in many years of childhood abuse.

Switzerland tends to hand down shorter sentences, particularly for violent crimes, when compared to many other countries.

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