Cyprus Mail

Government views tackling violence against women as a priority

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou (CNA)

A plan to combat violence against women is in the final stages of preparation, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou announced on Tuesday.

Speaking at the opening of an educational seminar on the subject, he said violence against women is a phenomenon widespread in all modern societies which governments need to fight.

According to the Organisation of Fundamental Rights (FRA) in Cyprus “one in five women has experienced physical and / or sexual violence, while 39 per cent have suffered psychological violence from their partner,” he said.

“The percentages recorded for our country are lower than the European average. This, however, does not mean that they represent the true extent of the problem, since, as noted in the FRA survey, in several countries speaking out about domestic violence is taboo. Precisely because the subject is considered private, the violence is not treated as a gross violation of fundamental rights and is difficult to report to police or others.”

The Cyprus government, he said, has made violence against women a high priority. Legislation criminalising harassment and stalking provided for in the convention has been prepared and will soon be voted on by the House, Nicolaou added.

A new strategic action plan for equality between men and women 2014-2017, approved by the Cabinet, has six main lines of action including combating violence against women, with a series of concrete actions and programmes to achieve this goal, Nicolaou added.

Beyond that, the government is creating a new action plan to combat domestic violence for the period 2016-2018, which is in the final stages of preparation.

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