Case of Fabienne W. – Outcry after beating attack – News

The demonstration in Schaffhausen last weekend gave her renewed courage: “It really touched me. I didn’t think so many people would come,” says Fabienne W. The “Rundschau” newspaper made her case public last week.

As a reminder: On December 29, 2021, Fabienne W. was brutally beaten by several men in the apartment of a Schaffhausen lawyer. The lawyer’s surveillance cameras recorded the incident. The men say the woman was causing a disturbance. The situation had to be brought under control.

The lawyer filmed some of the abuse with his cell phone. The “Rundschau” newspaper has one such cell phone video. Fabienne W. is lying on the ground, the man above her is shouting at her.

Fabienne W. reports the men. Two weeks later, she informs the police that videos of the attack were circulating in Schaffhausen. The men showed the videos around, people talked about them and laughed about them. The authorities take note of this, but do not intervene.

Potential informant is afraid

The legal representative of the Schaffhausen authorities explains: “This incident, as reprehensible as it is, does not constitute a criminal offense when viewed in isolation.” It would therefore have been almost impossible to confiscate the cell phones.

More than a year after the crime, Fabienne W. heard from someone that the videos being shown were much more extensive than was known. The person who apparently knew more, however, did not want to testify to the police. “I don’t want anything to happen to me at some point.” That’s what it says in the files.

An informant who does not want to testify out of fear: The authorities take note of it, but do not take any further action. “As a hearsay witness, he was of no use in establishing the facts.” It is a discretionary decision whether an interview should be carried out in such a case. And: The feared retaliatory measures were described vaguely, the authorities write to the “Rundschau”.

Federal politicians take action

The demonstration in Schaffhausen at the weekend showed that Fabienne W. is not alone. Her story has led to other women also telling publicly what happened to them: experiences of violence, including rape. And they are making accusations against the police and authorities.

The case is also a concern for federal politics. National Councillors Tamara Funiciello (SP) and Patricia von Falkenstein (LDP) have submitted a joint motion. “I just hear that the law enforcement authorities are often very insensitive. Perhaps not even consciously,” says von Falkenstein.

The two are calling for national minimum standards for training. “So that all victims, regardless of the canton, have access to law enforcement authorities who are sensitized to this issue,” said Funiciello.

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