Demonstrators blew whistles as they marched outside police headquarters in Nicosia on Sunday to demand an end to violence against women in an event organised by the Network Against Violence to Women.
It was held on the eve of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which is marked on November 25 and a day after 37 trees were planted in Nicosia to remember the 37 women killed in Cyprus by their partners or ex-partners since 2000.
Scores gathered outside police headquarters and blew whistles for one minute — a cry in the support of women victims of violence.
Academic Theano Kalavana, member of the coordinating committee said Cyprus has much ground to cover in improving the situation, adding that some 800 incidents of violence against women were reported in 2018.
She criticised what she described as the state’s piecemeal implementation of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and said the network would continue to campaign for effective action.
Zelia Gregoriou of the network’s coordinating committee said that few of the complaints of violence ended up in court adding that the welfare services were unable to protect victims.
In an announcement, the network said “the number of women victims of violence is larger than we feared… all were victims, primarily of the state’s inability to protect them. Now you will hear us, you will open the doors. Enough.”
And they added: “no more women dead, scared, beaten, vulnerable, burned, with fractures, terrified.”
Everything must change — the mentality, financial support, the budget to implement European directives and conventions, changes in the law, education, protocols, helping victims, penalties — they concluded.