Project for the reappraisal of compulsory social measures and placements completed

Those affected by compulsory social measures and placements have a wide range of perspectives, experiences and life courses. They had an important role to play in the reappraisal process.

Copyright photograph: Guido Fluri-Stiftung

The victims of compulsory social measures and placements in Switzerland played a key role in the context of national efforts to reappraise the political, economic and social aspects of these measures. Although many of those affected chose not to speak about their experiences as they feared being stigmatised and ostracised by society, a minority of these people found the courage to tell their stories. They published books and documents, spoke in public, and became involved in political processes.

As the research project shows, their active involvement in the reappraisal process had an impact on their personal identities in many ways. For some of the activists, speaking out in public meant reliving the trauma. For other committed victims, publishing their stories enabled them to gain long-term recognition for their own competence for action: they do not want to be perceived solely as victims, but also as people who are actively campaigning for justice. Many of the older people affected fear that merely sharing their experiences is not a long-term solution: they want them to be documented extensively for future generations.