In 2021, 11,148 people reported being victims of domestic violence in Switzerland, according to figures reported this week by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO). This figure represents 0.13% of the population or 13 out of every 10,000.
Overall, women and girls (18 per 10,000) were 2.3 times more likely than men and boys (8 per 10,000) to be victims of domestic violence. Those most at risk were foreign women, in particular refugee women. Foreign women and girls were victims at a rate of 36 per 10,000, double the rate of Swiss women and girls. Among refugee women and girls the rate rose to 80 per 10,000, 4.4 times the rate for Swiss women and girls and 10 times the rate for Swiss men and boys.
The perpetrators of domestic violence where overwhelmingly men. Overall, 74% of domestic violence in Switzerland was committed by men and only 26% by women. Per capita rates painted a similar picture: 15 men out of every 10,000 perpetrated domestic violence compared to 4 out of every 10,000 women.
And while the relative rates of violent perpetrators between men and women were similar among Switzerland’s foreign (75%/25%) and refugee populations (82%/18%) the per capita rates were significantly higher. Among foreigners overall, 36 men per 10,000 engaged in domestic violence in 2021 compared to 13 women per 10,000. Among refugees the same rates were 60 per 10,000 (men) and 20 per 10,000 (women). Refugee men (80 per 10,000) perpetrated domestic violence at 4.4 times the rate of Swiss men (18 per 10,000). In addition, refugee women (20 per 10,000) perpetrated domestic violence at a higher rate than Swiss men (18 per 10,000) and around 3.3 times higher than Swiss women (6 per 10,000).
The total number of victims of domestic violence in 2021 was 3.1% lower than in 2020 and the per capita rate was down by 3.9%.