Domestic Abuse – What to Do
Some topics may seem taboo but unfortunately the reality is that in Switzerland as in other countries domestic violence is prevalent. The police are called out an average of 40 times a day to deal with issues related to domestic abuse and violence, 3/4 of the violence is perpetrated by men. Luzern is one of two cantons to have put legislation in place making it mandatory for abusers to be prosecuted.
So what to do if you are victim of domestic abuse?
If you are in an emergency situation don’t delay call the police! The emergency number is 117
Know that violence is a punishable offence. The police may remove violent people from a home and its immediate vicinity and prohibit them from entering the home for a maximum of 20 days.
If your partner has been ordered to stay away from your home by the police and you are still being threatened or bothered, or he or she wants to come back to your home. Then call the police.
If you would like to talk to someone about what your rights are, then call the Victim’s Aid Office: 041 227 40 60. Their website is www.opferberatung.lu.ch
If you need to leave immediately there is a women’s shelter in Luzern which you can reach at 041 360 70 00 or www.frauenhaus-luzern.ch
If you are the victim of violence but do not have the courage to leave immediately please document the violence against you. Know that if you have a B Permit and you leave your husband before 3 years of marriage are up you will need to provide proof of violence in order to be able to stay in the country. C permit holders are automatically eligible to stay.
If you are a child and are victim of violence or abuse at home call the maedchenhaus at 044 341 49 45
If you decide to leave your home be sure to take the following items with you:
Personal documents (passport, ID card, residence permit); bank account card, cash or both; house key; prescription medication; all necessary clothes; children’s toys, children’s school books and material. But all of these things can be replaced so if you need to get out in an emergency just do it.
Dr. Eijsermans is a psychologist specialised in helping people facing traumatic times, she offers monthly free walk in sessions at the LiLi Centre (usually on the 3rd Wednesday of every month). Feel free to contact her if you would like to talk with her.