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Women’s shelters

Women’s shelters are places of refuge for adult women and their children who are affected by physical, psychological and/or sexualised violence, and who are in need of both protection and counselling. The crisis intervention services offered by women’s shelters are available to all women affected by violence and their children – regardless of their nationality, residency status or income.

Are you experiencing physical, psychological and/or sexualised violence and do you need outpatient counselling or a place of refuge? Then do not hesitate to contact a victim counselling centre or women’s shelter in your region. 

If you need counselling, contact a victim counselling centre in your region. Click here for a list of specialist support centres.

If you need a place of refuge at a secret location, contact a women’s shelter in your region. The following is a list of all women’s shelters with their contact details. The women’s shelter staff will advise you and give you the support you require for your situation.

Frequently asked questions

What do women’s shelters offer?

Women's shelters offer protection, accommodation, counselling and accompaniment to women of full age and their children in cases of physical, psychological and/or sexualised violence.

Women's shelters also support underage girls and young women who are affected by domestic violence to find suitable accommodation without their parents.

Children who enter a women's shelter with their mothers are also taken seriously. They are advised and supported like their mothers. 

The staff of the women's shelters are bound by professional secrecy. They provide confidential counselling and, if necessary, use interpreters for communication.

Can I bring my children with me to a women’s shelter?

Yes. The Swiss Civil Code stipulates that in the event of domestic violence you have the right and obligation to move your children to a safe place and to separate them temporarily from the other parent.

Can I go to a women’s shelter even if I do not have any money?

Yes, you can go to a women’s shelter even if you do not have any money or financial resources. Cantonal victim support services generally cover the costs of your first stay at a women’s shelter. No criminal charges have to be filed. The women’s shelter staff will also provide you with the support you need if your stay at the women’s shelter is longer.

Can I go to a women’s shelter even if I do not speak English?

Yes, you can go to the women’s shelter and receive counselling even if you do not speak English / German / Italian / French. The women’s shelters work together with interpreters.

How can I cover my tracks on the internet?

You automatically leave tracks whenever you surf the internet. There are a few tricks, however, that will let you surf safely and without leaving any trace for the most part. The information below will help you surf the internet safely and leave as few traces as possible.

  • Use secure passwords: A secure password comprises several letters, numbers and special characters. Special characters such as exclamation points (!), in particular, improve a password’s security enormously.
  • •    Delete cookies regularly: Cookies store your data in your web browser, so it’s a good idea to delete them on a regular basis (at least once a month). The steps to delete them differ depending on the browser you use (see table).

Browser

Path to delete cookies

Detailed instructions

Internet Explorer

Tools and internet options → Delete all

Click here for instructions on how to delete cookies in Internet Explorer (how to show and delete your browsing history in Internet Explorer)

Mozilla Firefox

History → Clear recent history → Select time range → Tick box next to form and search history → Clear now

Click here for instructions on how to delete cookies in Mozilla Firefox

Google Chrome

History → Clear browsing data → Select time range → Tick box next to cookies and other site data → Clear data

Click here for instructions on how to delete cookies in Google Chrome

Safari

History→ Delete history

Click here for instructions on how to delete cookies in Safari.

Apple iPhones

Settings → Safari → Clear history and website data

Click here for instructions on how to delete cookies in Apple iPhones

Android Smartphones

Three-point menu: History → Clear browsing data → All time → Clear data

Hier geht es zur Anleitung für Android Smartphones, um Cookies zu löschen

 

  • Anonymous surfing / incognito mode / private mode: All web browsers offer an incognito mode. When you use this mode, the websites you visit will not be stored and fewer cookies are saved. The steps to take differ depending on the browser you use (see table).

Browser

Inkognito-Modus

Internet Explorer

Tools → InPrivate Browsing

Mozilla Firefox

Menu → Private Window

Google Chrome

Change and configure Google Chrome → New Incognito Window

Safari

File → New Private Window

Microsoft Edge

More → New InPrivate Window

What should I take along to the women’s shelter?

If possible, take along the most necessary clothing and medications for yourself and your children. Other important items include personal documents, such as passports/residence permits, bank and health insurance cards, your children’s vaccination records and favourite toys, and marriage and birth certificates.

Help women affected by violence and their children 

DAO

The umbrella organisation of women’s shelters in Switzerland and Liechtenstein (DAO) pools the forces of all women’s shelters in Switzerland and Liechtenstein and other refuges for women and children. It represents their concerns at the national level. It also coordinates and promotes cooperation between the shelters and campaigns for women affected by violence and their children. As a professional organisation with many years of experience on the subject of domestic violence, it serves as a point of contact for politicians, the media and other special interest groups.

Memberships

DAO is an active member of Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) and part of the civic Istanbul Convention network and NGO Coordination post-Beijing Switzerland.

News

Kampagnensujet der DAO-Kampagne, Tascheninhalte von Frauen, die ins Frauenhaus flüchteten

November/December 2021:

DAO campaign against gender and domestic violence

DAO launched its nationwide campaign against gender and domestic violence on 8 November 2021. Over a one-month period, XXL posters at railway stations, posters in public transport and social media posts were used to boost public awareness of both the subject and the services offered by women’s shelters.

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May 2022:

Petition by Amnesty International Switzerland

The DAO supports Amnesty International Switzerland's petition on the revision of the Sexual Offences Act and the associated call for Parliament to come out in favour of the "Only Yes Means Yes" solution.