Since the revision of the police crime statistics (PCS) in 2009, detailed statistical information is available on domestic crimes reported to the police as well as on the victims and persons charged.
From a statistical point of view violence in a closed social environment is not defined by legal provisions but is derived from the relationship between the defendant and the victim. It follows that domestic violence can only be defined by means of definite criminal offences. For these criminal offences the cantonal police authorities must record the nature of the relationship at the time of events between the defendant and victim. If the relationship between the defendant and victim is an ongoing or former partnership, a parent-child relationship or another relationship within the family, the crimes reported to the police will be assigned as domestic.
Domestic offences reported to the police
In 2018, 18 522 domestic offences were reported and registered by the police. Compared with the previous year this represents an increase of 9% (+1 498 offences).
Homicide completed (Art. 111 – 113/116)
Homicide attempted (Art. 111-113/116)
Inciting and assisting suicide (Art. 115)
Illegal abortion without the consent of the pregnant woman (Art. 118.2)
Serious assault (Art. 122)
Common assault (Art. 123)
Female genital mutilation (Art. 124)1)
Acts of aggression (Art. 126)
Abandonment (Art. 127)
Endangering life (Art. 129)
Administering substances capable of causing injury to children (Art. 136)
Defamation (Art. 173)
Wilful defamation (Art. 174)
Insult (Art. 177)
Misuse of a telecommunications installation (Art. 179septies)
Sexual acts with persons incapable of judgement or resistance (Art. 191)
Exploitation of a person in a position of need or dependency (Art. 193)
Sexual harassment (Art. 198)
Acts preparatory to the commission of an offence (Art. 260bis)
1) Female genital mutilation (Art. 124 SCC) in force since 1 July 2012 2) Forced marriage, forced registered partnership (Art. 181A SCC) in force since 1 July 2013.
State of the database: 13.02.2019 Source: Federal Statistical Office - Police Crime Statistics (PCS) 2018
Share of domestic violence in violence registered by the police
As the PCS’s overall definition of violence does not coincide with that of domestic violence, the share of domestic violence in violence registered by the police can only be established based on domestic offences reported to the police. In 2017 this share was 37%.
Relationship between victim and defendant
The following graphic shows that in 2017, 52% of the 17 024 offences of domestic violence recorded by the police, occurred in an existing and 27% in a former partnership. The distribution across the various relationships varies depending on the offence (see table "Domestic violence:- Domestic offences reported to the police by relationship)".
Severe violence: victims and defendants of completed homicide
In the PCS the following SCC articles are grouped together under homicide: Art. 111, intentional homicide, art. 112 murder, art. 113 manslaughter and art. 116 infanticide.
In 2017, 21 people of whom 17 were female, died from domestic violence. Almost half of the 21 homicides took place in an existing partnership. The 21 completed homicides were carried out by 20 defendants, of whom 90% were men.