Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape, including spousal rape, is a criminal offense, and the government effectively prosecuted individuals accused of such crimes. Penalties for rape and sexual violence vary between one and 15 years’ imprisonment depending on the degree of violence and humiliation of the victim and between 10 and 20 years of imprisonment if the victim was killed. The courts may reduce sentences for spousal rape if the victim decides to remain with the abusive spouse. In 2012 the government passed a law aimed at better protecting victims of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Police reported six cases of rape during 2012.
The law prohibits all forms of domestic violence and provides for restraining orders against violent family members. There were reports of violence against women, including spousal abuse. According to 2012 police records, 22 women were victims of domestic violence, and police intervened in 38 incidents of domestic violence. Police were authorized to ban the abuser from returning to the site and did so on seven occasions. Judges ordered interim injunctions against perpetrators on two occasions in 2012.
In 2012 Frauenhaus, the country’s only shelter for women, provided counseling and refuge to 19 women and 17 children. Government centers provided single-stop financial, administrative, legal, and psychological assistance to victims of domestic violence.
In November 2012 the government and the women’s shelter organized a countrywide campaign to raise awareness about the problem of domestic violence and distributed emergency numbers.
Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is illegal and punishable by up to six months in prison or a fine, and the government effectively enforced these prohibitions. Stalking is a criminal offense. The government also considers mobbing--pressure, harassment, or blackmail tactics--in the workplace to be a crime. In 2012 the Office of Economic Affairs passed two regulations aimed at its prevention. Employers are required to take reasonable measures to prevent sexual harassment; failure to do so may result in compensation for victims up to 40,000 Swiss francs ($44,000). There were no complaints of sexual harassment recorded during the year.
Reproductive Rights: Couples and individuals have the right to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. Contraceptives and medical services were readily available. There were no reports of barriers limiting access to maternal health services.
Discrimination: Women enjoy the same legal rights as men, including rights under family law, property law and in the judicial system. The Equal Opportunity Office and the Commission on Equality between Women and Men worked to eliminate all forms of gender discrimination; however, societal discrimination continued to limit opportunities for women in fields traditionally dominated by men. On average women earned 17.8 percent less than men for equal work. The labor contract law and the equal opportunity law contain provisions to combat gender discrimination in the workplace.