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House expected to raise penalties for violence against women

The central prison in Nicosia

Legislation expected to be voted through this week will considerably raise jail sentences and fines on persons found guilty of committing violence against women.

The House legal affairs and human rights committees on Monday wrapped up discussion of the government bill, which also seeks to criminalise the phenomenon of revenge porn.

Dissemination of revenge porn will carry a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Human rights committee chair Mariella Aristidou (Disy) said the bill covers all forms of violence against women, including emotional and financial violence.

The punishment for emotional violence and sexual harassment is to be increased from three to five years maximum imprisonment, or a fine of up to €10,000 – or both.

A separate legislative proposal concerning equal treatment of the two genders in employment and job training, provides for a code of conduct serving as a guide at the workplace.

Regarding the penalties relating to harassment or sexual harassment at the workplace, these will increase from a €4,000 fine or six months in jail, to a €10,000 fine or three years imprisonment.

The severity of these penalties will act as a deterrent, Aristidou said.

Also, any person interfering with a workplace inspector is liable to face up to six months in jail or a fine of up to €10,000. Currently, the penalties are three months in prison or a €3,000 fine.

Asked about the revenge porn clause, Aristidou said it’s a matter covered in the Istanbul Convention.

On whether the revenge porn clause will likewise apply to incidents perpetrated against men, the MP said the bill relates to women only – separate legislation exists concerning such violence against men.


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