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Old 17.01.2011, 18:20
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Restraint order in Switzerland

A friend of mine was recently threatened by her roommate's boyfriend. He verbally abused her, threatened physical harm, and forcefully blocked the door to prevent her from escaping his tirade. She is really scared now, since he can get into the house anytime with his girlfriend's keys.

In US, a restraining order could have helped a lot in this situation. Talked to a few people here, and they seemed to imply that police won't do anything till she is actually hurt. This seems very unhelpful for a frightened person.

Is there some equivalent of restraining order in Switzerland? Some French keywords that can make the police provide such an order will be really helpful.
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Old 17.01.2011, 18:34
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Re: Restraint order in Switzerland

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A friend of mine was recently threatened by her roommate's boyfriend. He verbally abused her, threatened physical harm, and forcefully blocked the door to prevent her from escaping his tirade. She is really scared now, since he can get into the house anytime with his girlfriend's keys.

In US, a restraining order could have helped a lot in this situation. Talked to a few people here, and they seemed to imply that police won't do anything till she is actually hurt. This seems very unhelpful for a frightened person.

Is there some equivalent of restraining order in Switzerland? Some French keywords that can make the police provide such an order will be really helpful.
Well, not really...and laws that protect victims from domestic abuse just came in place a couple of years ago (around 5 years ago). Basically, there isn't even a stalking law in Switzerland. What she can do, is contact the police but since he can legally enter the premises there not much they can do about it.
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Old 17.01.2011, 18:36
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Re: Restraint order in Switzerland

why does it slightly scare me that LiB knows about ( the absence of ) restraint orders and stalking laws.
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Old 17.01.2011, 18:40
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Re: Restraint order in Switzerland

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why does it slightly scare me that LiB knows about ( the absence of ) restraint orders and stalking laws.
...well .

Jokes aside, I've read it in the paper last year and I was quite surprised by the law (or lack of).
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Old 17.01.2011, 18:50
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Re: Restraint order in Switzerland

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A friend of mine was recently threatened by her roommate's boyfriend. He verbally abused her, threatened physical harm, and forcefully blocked the door to prevent her from escaping his tirade. She is really scared now, since he can get into the house anytime with his girlfriend's keys.

In US, a restraining order could have helped a lot in this situation. Talked to a few people here, and they seemed to imply that police won't do anything till she is actually hurt. This seems very unhelpful for a frightened person.

Is there some equivalent of restraining order in Switzerland? Some French keywords that can make the police provide such an order will be really helpful.
Your friend has my sympathy and should look to leave there as soon as she possibly can or stay somewhere else in the interim if this is an option. No matter why or who started it, nobody should have to be subjected to such diatribe and accompanying behaviour.

Just a few weeks ago I came very close to calling the police when it really kicked off violently between the couple living above. Their relationship can at best be described as highly tempestuous but this time it was the worst I have ever heard it between them.

With all the screaming, shouting, items being thrown, kids wailing I actually felt fearful for her safety and of the children. It went on for about half an hour during which time I called some friends for advise on what to do. Each said that unless she was hurt, the police are powerless to do anything. They have since made up from what I have observed but for how long I keep asking myself . . .
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Old 17.01.2011, 19:23
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Re: Restraint order in Switzerland

An article on it from Swissinfo


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Unlike in some neighbouring countries, there are no laws in Switzerland against stalking. The result is that victims are inadequately protected, critics say.


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Old 17.01.2011, 19:27
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Re: Restraint order in Switzerland

Wow, no law, no protection and a gun in every household.... I am surprise that nothing happen more often!
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Old 17.01.2011, 19:55
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Re: Restraint order in Switzerland

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I actually felt fearful for her safety and of the children.
Why just her and the children? While it's still some kind of taboo topic (men are often ashamed and reluctant to admit) and contrary to popular belief, men are actually beaten and abused by women more often than you'd think.
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Old 17.01.2011, 19:56
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Re: Restraint order in Switzerland

There are such things such as restraining orders and there also (civil) laws against stalking:

Art. 28b Civil Code states:
Art. 28b1

b. Violence, threats or harassment
1 To obtain protection from violence, threats or harassment the applicant may request the court in particular to order the offending party to refrain from:
1.approaching the applicant or from entering a defined area around the applicant’s dwelling;2.frequenting specified locations, notably particular streets, squares or districts;3.from making contact with the applicant, especially by telephone, in writing or electronically, or from harassing the applicant in any other way.
2 If the applicant lives in the same dwelling as the offending party, the applicant may ask the court to order the offending party to leave the dwelling for a specified period. This period may be extended on one occasion for good cause.
3 Where justified by the circumstances, the court may:
1.require the applicant to pay reasonable compensation for his or her exclusive use of the dwelling; or2.with the landlord’s consent, transfer the rights and obligations under the lease to the applicant alone.
4 The cantons shall designate an authority which in urgent cases may order the immediate expulsion of the offending party from the joint dwelling and shall enact rules governing the procedure.


In addition several Cantons have additional rules on domestic violence which allow for quick intervention before the court proceedings are initiated: In a nutshell the principle is "wer schloht, da goht" (he or she who hits, leaves), which gives the police the authority to forbid a person who is abusive of returning to the house/apartment of several days. They take away his or her keys, etc. In the meantime the abused person can seek an extension of this order with the civil courts.

Domestic violence is deemed not only to be actual physical harm but also threats of violence and classical stalking (for Zurich see: Gewaltschutzgesetz).

Anybody who is interested in the topic can have look at the 116 page report commissioned by the office against violence (Fachstelle gegen Gewalt / Violence Protection Service) www.against-violence.ch

As to the various options available in the different cantons (Stand der Gesetzgebung).
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Old 17.01.2011, 20:03
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Re: Restraint order in Switzerland

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Why just her and the children? While it's still some kind of taboo topic (men are often ashamed and reluctant to admit) and contrary to popular belief, men are actually beaten and abused by women more often than you'd think.
Why not? As it was her screaming (him shouting) and the children crying I think it was safe to presume they were the ones liable to be hurt and not the other way around.

Seriously, I am not going to get into this whole thing of men as the victims when both the OP's comments and my response concern women we know directly.

Perhaps you should start another thread on that yourself?
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Old 17.01.2011, 20:12
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Re: Restraint order in Switzerland

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I called some friends for advise on what to do. Each said that unless she was hurt, the police are powerless to do anything. They have since made up from what I have observed but for how long I keep asking myself . . .
Well depending on the Canton threats of violence are enough, e.g. in Zurich. Next time call in a "noise disturbance" and let the police deal with it. The party deemed abusing the other gets to leave the apartment for a few days to cool off.
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