Violence in old age

Victim Support Switzerland helps anyone who has suffered direct harm to their physical, psychological or sexual integrity as a result of a criminal act in Switzerland – regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation or religion. Victim Support Switzerland services are free, confidential and, if required, anonymous.

Titelbild - Violence in old age

Over 300'000 people over the age of 60 are affected by violence every year in Switzerland. Only rarely do those affected or their relatives make use of the support available. There are many reasons for this, including shame, unawareness of the support available, dependency on other people (e.g. relatives, caregivers, helpers) due to health issues, or fear of the consequences. Violence can be used wittingly or unwittingly and encompasses various aspects:

- Physical abuse (punching, tying up, burning, etc.)
- Psychological abuse (humiliation, threats, isolation, etc.)
- Sexual abuse (rape, sexual harassment, etc.)
- Financial abuse (withholding money, financial coercion, exploitation, etc.)

Anyone can be affected by violence. The whole of society has a responsibility to stop violence. If you or one of your relatives, neighbours, patients or colleagues are affected by violence, or if you observe a problematic situation, act without delay!

You can find all Victim Support Switzerland services here

«Together against violence in old age» campaigns

The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Social Affairs (SODK) launched an online campaign to raise awareness of Victim Support Switzerland, focussing on the elderly, in mid-February 2024. The campaign is sponsored by the Federal Office for Gender Equality.

The campaign follows on from and complements earlier «Together against violence in old age» campaigns. In spring 2023, the Swiss Agency for Crime Prevention (SKP), Victim Support Switzerland and the National Competence Centre for Old Age Without Violence launched a campaign to encourage victims and their relatives to talk about the issue and get help. Furthermore, the Institut et Haute Ecole de la Santé La Source (HES-SO), the senior-lab and the National Competence Centre for Old Age Without Violence, supported by the SKP and Victim Support Switzerland, launched a campaign focussing on violence among elderly couples in November 2023.