Swiss canton addresses domestic violence

Domestic violence is the leading cause of female homicide in Switzerland. Fribourg, a Swiss-German canton, has started implementing measures to end the issue. 

Lara Bullens
Lara Bullens NewsMavens, Western Europe
Swiss canton addresses domestic violence - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Domestic violence, according to the chancellery of Fribourg, is not a "private matter" but one that concerns "the whole of society". And in an effort to raise awareness and go beyond investing in preventative measures, Switzerland has undertaken efforts to understand how dire the consequences of domestic violence can be for society as a whole. 

Not only does it bring trauma to those concerned, but it also costs the country 164 million francs (about 145 million euros) per year in hospital bills, legal processes and aid structures. 

Domestic violence affects the working economy -- when women are too incapacitated to work, leading to an additional 40 million francs yearly of indirect costs (about 35 million euros). 

In a 2014 report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), it was found that 22% of women in relationships have reported abuse from their partners. This is the tip of the iceberg, however, as domestic violence is still largely tied to a sense of shame for victims. 

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Details from the story:

  • 33 measures to battle domestic violence were listed under 12 priorities and divided into nine branches that deal with victims, perpetrators, children, prevention, professional training, awareness in the legal system, sustainability, information and threat management
  • Key measures are already underway
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause for homicide for women in Switzerland and affects all groups, regardless of their socio-economic standing or demographic
  • One of the two urgent priorities is improving the medical solutions for domestic violence
  • Some measures are already being implemented, others require new infrastructures, as is the case with the medical solutions and managing the threat of domestic violence occuring
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