Publicis for Women's Center: Rapists have it easier in Switzerland

In June, politicians will be debating Swiss sexual criminal law. The Women's Center Zurich is fighting for the criminal offense of rape to finally be adapted in accordance with the Istanbul Convention. A stirring campaign by Publicis is to support them in this.

Publicis für Frauenzentrale

In many European countries, anyone who disregards a woman's "no" and has sex without explicit consent often ends up in prison. Not so in Switzerland, where the law is once again lagging behind: If a woman does not physically resist - for example, because she is in a state of shock or otherwise unable to react - this is not considered rape. Not even if she has clearly said "no" beforehand.

Thus, current case law mainly addresses the outdated and stereotypical image of the stranger rapist in the park at night. This is despite the fact that almost 60 percent of rapes occur in private settings and over 80 percent of victims know the perpetrator.

Contrary to all conventions, for once it is not the victims but the perpetrators who have their say in the campaign. Fictitious men from the European hinterland complain about not having committed their crimes in Switzerland. Because here, they would almost certainly have gotten off with much lighter sentences - if not entirely unpunished.


Olivia Frei from the Women's Center Zurich explains why this shocking implementation was chosen and explains the demand to politicians: "We wanted to make it clear to people in a dramatic way that Switzerland - in contrast to many European countries - does not follow the requirements of the Istanbul Convention. From the politicians, we demand a sexual criminal law in which the definition of rape is no longer based on violence, coercion and resistance, but on the lack of consent. In addition, we demand systematic data collection on sexual offenses and a uniform approach throughout Switzerland in the investigation and punishment of rape."

The film was made by Zurich director and longtime women's rights activist Luisa Ricar. It's not her first project directed against sexism and chauvinism, but it's probably one of her most blatant so far: "With the campaign, we have the opportunity to break down the stereotypical image of a rapist and adapt it to reality. The films and the men's seemingly "normal" stories hurt. And they should. The idea is to make it clear that rape is something that happens in everyday life and isn't limited to dark alleys and stranger perpetrators."

The campaign will be seen online and on posters in the run-up to the summer session.

Responsible at Frauenzentrale Zürich: Olivia Frei (Co-Managing Director), Sandra Plaza (Co-Managing Director). Responsible at Publicis Zurich: Matthias Koller (overall responsibility), David Lübke (creative direction), Cosima Pereira Köster (senior art director), Mathias Bart (senior copywriter), Cathy Nyffenegger, Stefania Bertolo (consulting) Prodigious: Pre Press, Litho, Image Editing. Film production: Czar Film. Luisa Ricar (Director), Meret Madörin (Cinematographer), Sandy Blum (Executive Producer), Julia Frieling (Production Assistant), Evelyn Steigbügel (Editor), Samuel Muff Slgh (Grading), Jingle Jungle (Sound Recording).

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