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Cyprus police investigate 500 domestic violence cases in just two months

domestic abuse, domestic violence, victim, assault
Rape or sexual violence victims can only be examined in Nicosia

The police investigated nearly 500 cases of domestic violence and issued 93 arrests during the months of September and October, statistics released on Tuesday showed.

According to data provided to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), 131 complaints were made in Nicosia, 135 in Limassol, 117 in Larnaca, 37 in Paphos, 68 in Famagusta and eight in Morphou.  

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any nationality, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender, the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (Spavo) said.

The statement added that abuse is a repetitive pattern of behaviours practiced to maintain power and control over a partner, which physically harms, instils fear in them, prevents them from doing what they want, or forces them to behave in ways they do not want.

“Abuse includes the use of physical and sexual violence, intimidation and threats, emotional abuse and financial deprivation. Many of these different forms of abuse can happen at any time,” Spavo said.

The association also provided data showing that there has been an increase of reports of incidents of domestic violence over the last four years.

Specifically, in 2019 there were 1,384 incidents, which rose to 2,147 in 2020, then 2,854 the next year.

In 2022, the number shot up to 3,122, while from the beginning of 2023 until October 2,550 were recorded.

Spavo said its helpline has received 914 calls so far.

Meanwhile, at the Women’s House, 387 cases were served, while 45 received legal advice and 12 requests were made for legal aid.

A total of 317 women and 437 children were accommodated in Spavo facilities.

According to the same data, 90 per cent of the perpetrators were Cypriots.

Physical and psychological violence was practiced in 69 per cent of the cases, physical, psychological and sexual violence in 5 per cent, physical, psychological and financial violence in 19 per cent, while all forms account for 7 per cent.

The perpetrator-victim relationship was spouses in 43 per cent of cases, cohabitants in 32 per cent, ex-spouses in 6 per cent, adult child to parent in 3 per cent, with percentages of 1 per cent found between victims and employers, current and former roommates, parents to adult children, siblings, and other relatives.

Of the cases addressed to the Spavo call centre, 67 per cent of the victims, and 66 per cent of the perpetrators have Cypriot citizenship, and in 68 per cent of the cases the victim lives with the perpetrator.

In 62 per cent of the cases there are minors in the family, with 35 per cent directly subjected to violence, and 62 per cent bearing witness to it.

The police knew of the victim’s case in 37 per cent of the calls, and social welfare services knew about 29 per cent of them. In 34 per cent of the cases, the victim had no previous involvement with a government agency.

The forms of violence reported against children are psychological violence in 41 per cent of the cases, physical violence 26 per cent, sexual violence 0.5 per cent and neglect in 8 per cent.

In 80 per cent of the cases, the child has witnessed the violence, and in 38 per cent, it has been subjected to a combination of the two.

 

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