Cases of domestic violence in Cyprus have increased by around 30 per cent in the last 20 months, President Nicos Anastasiades said during a charity dinner at the palace to mark 30 years of operation of the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (Spavo).

In his greeting on Monday night, Anastasiades said that in the last 20 months, according to data from the European Commission, “it appears that in this period, unfortunately, there is an increase in domestic violence”.

“It is also worrying that in our country in particular, the incidents of domestic violence increased by about 30 per cent,” he added.

He said the state was “fully aware” of its commitment to protect and support every person especially of women and children who are most affected by violence and domestic abuse. Government aid in this field amounted to over 750,000 euros in 2020, he said.

Anastasiades referred to the steps taken in this context, noting that a milestone was the ratification by law in November 2017 of the Istanbul Convention, which concerns the Prevention and Combating of Violence against Women.

He said the ensuing laws “make clear the zero tolerance for any form of violence against women and their dependents”.

In addition, he said, the Council of Ministers, in a decision in November 2019, approved the creation of the Women’s House, which has been operating as a pilot since last December, and which is accessible, without any discrimination, to all women victims of violence. , together with their minor children.

Referring to Spavo, the president said the association, gathering a well-trained interdisciplinary team accompanied by a significant number of volunteers was focused on the free provision of high quality security, protection and guidance services.

Also, it had also developed additional initiatives, such as information campaigns as well as the training of professionals and social groups in the prevention and response to incidents of domestic violence.

Anastasiades assured that the government would continue to support the work of the Association, “to be financial helpers but also with any other administrative or legislative measures required in order to strengthen the most important effort to protect women, prevent domestic violence and protect minors “.