Wednesday, March 22, 2023

“It’s a matter of nothing less than life and death”

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Many women and children are currently seeking protection in a women’s shelter.


Dana LiechtiEditor Sunday view

In December, Juso put up a bed on Bundesplatz. It was meant to symbolize the lack of beds in the women’s shelters. How tense is the situation right now?
Marlies Haller: Very. Many women’s shelters are full. The specialist advisers are taking longer and longer to find a place for those affected. In the canton of Bern, women and children even have to be temporarily placed in a hotel. And the number of calls to the AppElle hotline is increasing.

How do you explain the fact that so many women are seeking protection right now?
Haller: I can only guess. On the one hand, the number of unreported cases of domestic violence is very high, estimated at 80 percent. The women’s shelters only show the tip of the iceberg. We have also observed an enormous increase in inquiries from victim support centers in recent years. Factors contributing to this are probably the discussions on the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and the various women’s movements. These have raised awareness in the area of ​​domestic and sexualized violence against women and hopefully have been able to motivate those affected to get help. Today it is better known that the Victim Assistance Act, the women’s shelters and counseling centers are there for everyone and are free of charge and that help is available regardless of whether a complaint is made. It is also conceivable that those women who were under greater control during the pandemic are now seeking help.
Anna Tanner: Another assumption is that the current situation in society as a whole is causing stress with inflation. And stressful situations often lead to more pressure and violence at home.

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