Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

MPs hope stalking law will be passed next month

Up to 11 per cent of women have been stalked

MPs said Wednesday they aim to pass a law on stalking inside March, plugging a gap in the island’s legislation which failed to punish perpetrators.

The House legal affairs committee heard previously that in Cyprus 11 per cent of the female population over 12, around 55,000 women, have been victims of stalking.

The EU average is 18 per cent.

Committee chairman, Disy MP, Giorgos Georgiou said their aim was to vote for the bill sometime next month.

The bill provides for penalties depending on intensity and also defines aggravating factors. It also enables courts to issue orders to protect victims.

Stalkers may be punished by imprisonment of up to five years and or a fine up to €10,000.

If the perpetrator did not hurt the victim in any way they may be jailed for a year or fined €2,000 or both.

The penalty will rise if victims display psychological problems or are otherwise hurt as a result of stalking.

The bill came in response to two ombudsman reports, in 2014 and 2015, that cited a legal gap as regards stalking.

To date, due to the legal gap, police remain idle in cases of stalking.

In a murder attempt in 2013, the woman in question had been reporting for a year and a half before the attack that she was being harassed but police did not take any measures that could have prevented the incident.

 

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