Sexualised violence

Sexualised violence is the term used to describe acts of violence including unwanted kissing or touching, vaginal, oral or anal intercourse against a person’s will, treating someone as a sex object and sexual acts against children.

What is sexualised violence?

Sexualised violence refers to any type of forced or unwanted sexual act and behaviour of a sexual nature that violates boundaries. Since these acts are not about sexuality, but about violence and demonstrations of power, DAO uses the term sexualised violence.

Sexualised violence ranges from sexual harassment and rape to sexual acts committed against children. Sexualised violence can include:

  • unwanted kissing or touching
  • vaginal, oral or anal intercourse against a person’s will
  • treating someone as a sex object
  • sexual acts with or without physical contact performed in the presence of or on a child

Is sexualised violence punishable by law?

Yes, sexualised violence is punishable by law. Since there are many types of sexualised violence, several articles of the Swiss Criminal Code (StGB) come into consideration.

The list below is not exhaustive:

Several criteria are decisive when deciding which of the specific articles is applicable, such as the relationship between the victim and perpetrator, their ages, the victim’s cognitive status (power of judgement) and the precise details of the sexual act.

You can contact a victim counselling centre for a precise assessment of your legal situation. It offers free advice and can also refer you to a lawyer if necessary. Additional information about the legal situation can be found here.