Police on Wednesday said there was a year-on-year increase of sexual harassment and abuse complaints, as they confirmed they were investigating a second complaint of sexual abuse in schools by a teacher.
According to police spokesman Christos Andreou, police investigated 200 sexual harassment complaints last year, while the force saw a total of 209 such cases so far in 2021, he told CyBC.
His statements came as police confirmed that a high-school student in Nicosia had filed a complaint that she had been sexually abused by her female teacher while at school.
Andreou said the report was made last week, but the teacher has not yet been arrested because it was determined she would not obstruct the investigations.
The law defines harassment of minors as sexual abuse, the spokesman explained.
Police has also informed the education ministry about the complaint.
Meanwhile, earlier this week a male secondary school teacher was remanded in custody for eight days as police investigate a complaint he had sexually abusing a female pupil in class at a Larnaca public school.
At the request of the education ministry the education service commission has suspended the teacher from his duties for three months.
Later in the day Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou announced his ministry would address the gaps in the regulations as to what should be done with teachers in such cases.
“We must definitely prevent unacceptable behaviours that can harm children, and to this end we must create an appropriate institutional framework,” Prodromou said. He added that his ministry would seek the help of the attorney-general and the state legal service.
He said the ministry would in the coming days announce all current procedures for reporting such cases which must be handled according to the ministry’s protocols.
Cyprus has seen a domino effect of sexual harassment complaints after Greek Olympic gold medallist Sophia Bekatorou spoke up about her rape by a high-ranking Hellenic Sailing Federation (HSF) official back in 1998.
Bekatorou’s public complaint encouraged other people who were sexually abused to break their silence both in Greece and in Cyprus.