Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: online event this month for women in danger of domestic violence

Women in Cyprus are invited to participate in an online event taking place on April 15 with advice on how to keep away abusive partners during the stay-home restrictions.

‘Abused Synonymous: How To ‘Shut-Out’ Your Covid-19 Abuser Legally’ is a free virtual event via Zoom to be conducted by Patricia M. Martin, Esq., founder of One Woman At A Time, Cyprus (OWAAT), an initiative advising women on how to get access to court for no-contact orders against their abusers, without the help of a lawyer.

This will be OWAAT’s first virtual meeting able to connect up to 99 abused women globally via Zoom.

“In Cyprus and globally reports are that Covid-19 related violence against women has increased substantially and is resulting directly from state ‘stay-at-home’, ‘shut-down” orders.” said Martin.

Likewise, she said, while globally, state courts are shut down, nevertheless because domestic violence is considered an emergency, courts, including in Cyprus, have issued orders for continuing to process applications for temporary emergency protections to prevent the risk of harm from abuse, meaning not just physical violence.

While in the US where all courts are digitally automated and emergency hearings are conducted telephonically, in Cyprus, unfortunately, “hand-delivered filings and in-person appearances is still required since its courts fall far behind the internet age for expediting access to court rights.” Martin said.

OWAAT’s ‘Abused Synonymous’ aims to connect with at least 99 abused women especially in Cyprus who want to ‘shut out’ their abuser legally and immediately, especially now during Covid-19.

“It is vital abused women in Cyprus know that under Cyprus supreme law the state mandates state actors to be proactively involved in combatting and preventing domestic violence against women where in 2018 Cyprus ratified the Istanbul Convention,” she said.

Legally, prevention of the risk of abuse is always considered an emergency that requires state courts to act immediately and process immediately such claims, irrespective of Covid-19, Martin said.

“Moreover, evidence of physical violence is not required under international treaty law enacted in Cyprus before a civil protection order should be issued by Cyprus Court judges.”

Those interested in joining this special free one-hour event with Patricia Martin, via Zoom, they need to sign up by sending a FB Messenger to One Woman At A Time, Cyprus on Facebook.  They need to include name and Gmail address, city, country and their spoken language if not fluent in English.

The first 99 women signed-up can expect a confirmation email from OWAAT via Gmail with event details.  Participants need Wi-Fi or phone data package to download Zoom on their mobile phone or computer.

Martin will be connected for questions and information sharing between 7pm and 8pm, Cyprus time.

Participants can mute their video camera and remain anonymous if they wish to, however, audience participation with questions will be encouraged.  The event will not be recorded.

OWAAT was first established in Cyprus in 2014 by US Fulbright Scholar, Martin in conjunction with University of Nicosia School of Law.  In December 2014, OWAAT volunteer collaborators with Martin launched its unique online self-help human rights website now recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) International Law Section as ‘the world’s first international online self-help toolbox for abused women to file for no contact and divorce in court.

OWAAT online is available today in English, Greek, Russian, Dutch, Italian, Arabic and Yoruba.  OWAAT Spanish, French, Norwegian and Turkish versions are set to launch in 2020.

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