#withyou: coming together to combat toxic relationships and domestic violence

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Domestic violence is a widespread problem in Switzerland: there is a murder attempt every week and a death once a fortnight. The problem primarily affects women, but men and children are also impacted. The number of unrecorded cases is huge, with three-fifths of those affected by domestic violence not seeking help. This is due to fear, shame, or because they do not realise they are in an abusive relationship. Low-threshold support can have a huge impact in this respect, supplementing the services offered by advice centres – starting with early detection.

Anonymous support through an online tool

The pioneering #withyou project is aiming to tap into this potential. Facilitated by the Migros Pioneer Fund, the project has developed an innovative Swiss-wide online tool that anonymously provides digital support to victims of domestic violence. Violence doesn’t just mean beatings and bruises: emotional violence, in particular, is hard to identify. An interactive questionnaire enables those affected to assess the health of their relationship, pick up on the warning signs of domestic violence at an early stage and contact specialists before the violence escalates. Further support is offered by a risk-assessment questionnaire that highlights the potential risks in the relationship and a decision-making tool that victims can use to run through various scenarios and priorities. The tool is also targeted at friends and family: relatives are given suggestions in terms of how to respond and where they can find help.

In the future, those affected will also be able to store records of incidents and evidence in a digital vault.

Safety net across Switzerland

The online tool #withyou is available in various languages. To create as seamless a safety net as possible for victims, #withyou works with advice centres, women’s shelters, doctors and the police across Switzerland.

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