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Cyprus

Support centre for adult victims of child abuse approved

The cabinet on Wednesday gave the green light to open a centre offering support to adults who were victims of sexual abuse or exploitation as children.

The health ministry said in an announcement that the cabinet had approved Minister Constantinos Ioannou’s proposal to open the support and treatment centre.

An integrated system for supporting child victims of sexual abuse has been successfully developed over the last five years in Cyprus, the ministry said.

“Recognising, however, that the phenomenon is timeless and that in Cyprus there is no system of support for those who face the side-effects and the consequences of the abuse they suffered when they were children, the government is proceeding with the operation of the specialised cenre,” it said.

The aim is to enable such victims to “manage any consequences and be able to live the lives they want with health and well-being”.

The decision, the ministry said, follows the president’s announcement last year to offer multidimensional support and treatment to adults who experienced sexual abuse as minors, based on a proposal submitted by ‘Foni’, the council for the implementation of the national strategy to fight sexual abuse and exploitation of children and child pornography.

“The support and treatment services will relate to the physical, psychological and social health of the individual and will include the provision of psychological, social, legal and medical support or counseling for the purpose of integrating people in the community,” the ministry said.

The centre will also provide a free hotline to serve as a source of information and basic support for potential victims.

The Council of Ministers also approved a new incentive scheme for the recruitment of people with chronic diseases. A €2m budget has been earmarked to cover up to a hundred unemployed people with chronic conditions.

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