FIZ – Women’s Information Center

Linked with our presentation of Irene Rodriguez – Switzerland and Argentinia.

Violence against Women: Many women are exposed to violence, which can take many forms: domestic violence, sexual abuse, rape, forced prostitution. A sustained effort is being made to combat these acts of violence and to work towards preventing further occurrences.

Service to combat violence: In 2003 the Federal Council established a Service to combat violence (FGG) with the aim of achieving better coordination of campaigns, studies and projects undertaken at federal level and in the cantons. The Swiss Conference of Gender Equality Delegates (SKG) has launched nationwide campaigns against domestic violence and created a working party to improve the effectiveness of the various cantonal projects initiated to combat violence within couples and families.

Domestic violence: Violence within the home environment and in couples takes on many forms. It can be psychological, physical, verbal, sexual and pecuniary. Domestic violence also includes malicious acts, such as neglect, depriving someone of monetary resources, bullying, disproportional control, isolating another person, etc.

Domestic violence has been an offence liable to automatic prosecution since 1 April 2004.

Sexual violence: Sexual violence occurs in many different forms and always has serious consequences for the victims. Sexual duress occurs when the perpetrator forces the victim to an act of sexual nature through violence, threats, psychological pressure, by startling the person or making them unable to resist (e.g. using drugs or alcohol). Rape occurs when the victim is forced to actual sexual intercourse through one of the above means. All these acts are criminal offences under the law.

Trafficking and exploitation of human beings: Human trafficking is the purchase and sale of human beings for exploitation. It is a serious violation of human rights and constitutes a serious crime. Human trafficking is generally linked to prostitution circles but may also occur in other areas (domestic help, catering business, etc.). Women and children are particularly exposed to this modern form of slavery. (Read all on

FIZ news Sept. 2005;

FIZ news August 2003.

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