Separation/Divorce? What about your residence/work permit?

The specific case of victims of domestic violence


I am very sensitive to this issue and have extensive experience in defending victims of domestic violence. I will therefore be able to provide the authorities with the appropriate evidence and defend your right to stay, as best as possible.


If you have obtained a residence/work permit to live with your spouse/registered partner (of a Swiss nationality or a holder of a C permit) and your marital union has lasted less than 3 years, you can claim a residence permit provided that the continuation of your stay in Switzerland is necessary for major personal reasons.


This includes, but is not limited to, cases of domestic violence. Forced marriages and cases of social reintegration in the country of origin (for example, certain countries discriminate against divorced women with children) are also covered.


But how do authorities analyze domestic violence?


They analyze the degree and intensity of the violence.


And how is domestic violence defined? What types of acts are included?


According to the report of the Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE) of June 2012, entitled Assessment of the degree of severity of domestic violence - Basic report from a social science perspective, it is a "global/long-lasting pattern of controlling behavior intended to restrict the freedom of action and to abuse of one’s own power in the context of the relationship towards the other person”.


Some concrete examples from the FOGE report are:


  • Emotional abuse and psychic violence (tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating, belittling, making a fool of, insulting, jealous behavior, accusing, calling someone crazy);

  • Isolation (stopping, preventing or prohibiting social contact, locking up);

  • Sexual abuse (coercing into non-consensual sex or practices);

  • Use of children as a means of coercion;

  • Economic violence (taking money, forbidding or forcing to work);

  • Threats, intimidation, and stalking (threatening death or suicide, monitoring, controlling, reducing living space, spying, stalking, frightening, not giving the other person its own space).


These cases are very delicate, and some victims may be very affected and unable to manage the administrative procedures. And, on top of being already mistreated by their spouse or registered partner, some of them are refused a permit renewal.


Therefore, it is very important to have the support of a specialized Legal Advisor to relieve the victim of all the administrative procedures which only stress and put the person in a more distressing state.


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