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 three cases of rape during 2013.
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 2013 police records, 16 women were victims of domestic violence. Regulation authorized police to ban the abuser from returning to the site and did so on one occasion.
In 2013 Frauenhaus, the country’s only shelter for women, provided in-house counseling and refuge to 15 women and nine children. Thirteen of the 15 women resided in Liechtenstein and two came from Switzerland. The Frauenhaus also assisted 34 “outpatients” and provided phone counseling to eight women. The government-run Information and Contact Center for Women (Infra) provided single-stop financial, administrative, legal, and psychological assistance to victims of domestic violence. Infra recorded eight cases of domestic violence independently at the Frauenhaus.
In November 2013 the government and the women’s shelter organized a countrywide campaign within the context of the Universal Children’s Day to raise awareness about the problem of domestic violence and to distribute emergency numbers. Frauenhaus also organized a workshop on domestic violence prevention at a local high school and collaborated with the Equal Opportunity Office and 30 local bakeries on a national campaign to sensitize the public on domestic violence.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): The law explicitly prohibits FGM/C of women and girls of all ages and cultures.
Other Harmful Traditional Practices: There were no reports of dowry deaths, “honor” killings, or other harmful traditional practices.
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 government passed two regulations on the prevention of sexual harassment and workplace bullying in the national administration. Employers are required to take reasonable measures to prevent sexual harassment, and failure to do so may result in compensation for victims up to 40,000 Swiss francs ($40,400). There were 11 complaints of sexual harassment recorded during the year, eight of which were resolved.
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 and the right to attain the highest standard of reproductive health, 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. While the objective of the Equal Opportunity Office and the Commission on Equality between Women and Men is to eliminate all forms of gender discrimination, several NGOs cited the continuing downsizing of the Equal Opportunity Office and the interim suspension of the Commission on Equality between Women and Men as impeding effective prevention of discrimination against minorities and advancement of gender equality.
Societal discrimination continued to limit opportunities for women in fields traditionally dominated by men. The median income for men during the year remained approximately 17.2 percent higher than for women. The labor contract law and the equal opportunity law contain provisions to combat gender discrimination in the workplace.