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App to help abuse victims

By Jonathan Shkurko

A new app aimed at helping victims of abuse is set to be released in the next days, the president of NGO Phoni, Anastasia Papadopoulou said on Tuesday.

Papadopoulou, who is also a special advisor to the government on child protection, said the app was created in collaboration with Cyta and the police, which will be immediately alerted when a victim used the app to call for help.

Reports of domestic violence have almost doubled during the coronavirus pandemic and the stay at home decree.

There had been more than 10 cases reported each day, since the first confirmed Covid-19 cases on the island, the association for the prevention and handling of violence in the family (Spavo) said in a statement published in early April.

Papadopoulou said children are particularly at risk during this period and urged parents to pay extra attention to them.

“Parents should realise that, just because they are home, their children are not safe and the increased exposure to the internet has increased the risk of exploitation,” she said.

She said that victims of abuse are often sharing the same premises with the abusers and cannot call for help.

“Also, the closure of schools means that children cannot even alert their teachers, making the whole situation more serious than ever,” Papadopoulou concluded.

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