Cyprus Mail

Helpline receives hundreds of calls from abused women and girls

IN THE first five months of 2013, a domestic violence support group responded to 685 calls concerning male violence against women and girls, including sexual violence and rape, it emerged yesterday.
According to the Mediterranean Institute of Gender studies (MIGS), the calls made to the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family, included one relating to the rape of a minor by a 48-year-old man in Yermasoyia in the Limassol district, and another the rape of a 26-year-old woman by a 42-year-old priest.
Other cases involve a Palestinian man who stabbed and beat his wife from the Ukraine, and the rape of a Vietnamese housekeeper by two Romanian men.
“The majority of the calls received were from women and had to do with 225 cases of psychological violence, 395 cases of psychological and physical violence, 71 cases of psychotically, physical and sexual violence and 16 cases of neglect,” MIGS said.
“It seems that there is a general upward trend of violence in general and especially that of sexual violence against women.”
MIGS said that reported rates of violence and the percentage of convictions were still very low “showing, among other things, that sexual violence experienced by women is a private matter.”
MIGS called on the government – namely the ministry of labour and the ministry of justice – to sign the convention on the fight against all forms of violence against women in Europe.
“The convention will strengthen national legislation and contribute to the effective development of specific measures to protect and care for women and girls who are victims of sexual violence.
It would also contribute to developing systematic information and prevention programmes to promote the development of a society where violence against women is not acceptable, the MIGS statement added.

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