Around 75 per cent of victims of family violence and abuse of minors in Cyprus are girls and women, according to data released by the police.

According to the statistics, there has been a steep increase in the number of complaints from 2020 onwards, after the family violence police units started operating.

In 2021, the units handled a total of 3,362 complaints, while in 2022 they handled approximately 3,200 complaints.

In 2021 an increase of 45 per cent of family violence and minors’ abuse cases was recorded compared to 2020. A steep increase was recorded also in the number of arrests in 2021 and 2022 for criminal offences against women.

Criminologist and senior police officer specialised in family violence cases Kyriaki Lambrianidou told the Cyprus News Agency that International Women’s Day “is celebrated to remind us of the struggles and revolutionary acts of many women, so that all women can be treated equally and enjoy the same rights as men.”

“The Istanbul Convention, which was signed by the EU in 2017 and is now a binding legal instrument for all EU member states, is perhaps the first legally binding international text that sets criteria for the prevention of gender-based violence and the protection of women,” Lambrianidou said.

“Based on international studies, it has been proven that one in three women has suffered some form of physical or sexual violence or even both.”

As a consequence, she said that the Cyprus police over the past years has taken measures to recognise and manage gender-based violence.

“I am pleased to say that the measures have borne fruit and we created an environment in which victims can make complaints to the police more easily,” Lambrianidou concluded.