Swiss authorities step up efforts to combat domestic violence
Following reports of alarming rates of intimate-partner violence, the federal government has announced it is boosting support for awareness campaigns and prevention projects in the country.
On Wednesday, the Federal Council (executive body) adopted a legal order to combat violence against women and domestic violence, along with earmarked funding of CHF3 million ($3.03 million). This in effect creates the legal basis for the government to implement its own programmes or provide grants to external organisations.
The funds are expected to support awareness-raising campaigns, training for specialists and programmes for victims or those at risk of violence.
The legal order will come into force in January 2020, but the money will not flow into programmes until the order is approved by parliament as part of the 2021 budget cycle.
Domestic violence remains widespread in Switzerland. In 2018, Switzerland recorded 18,522 cases of intimate-partner violence. Twenty-seven people died as a result of domestic violence, among them 24 women. The number of women that have died from domestic violence is higher in Switzerland than in most European countries.
Switzerland signed the Istanbul Convention to combat violence against women, which came into force in 2018, and has been taking various steps to strengthen laws and practices on the subject. In July the government announced measures to better protect victims of domestic violence and stalking.