The Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (SPAVO) handled more than 200 domestic violence incidents in April, the CNA reports.
According to Dr Andri Andronicou, Spavo’s Scientific Director, Spavo’s 1440 hotline received 2,902 calls in April, 827 more than the month before.
Of those, 73% were responded to compared to 48% the month before.
“This is due to additional staff in place who are professional social workers and specialist psychologists. The 1440 helpline’s operators handled more than 200 domestic violence incidents,” Andronicou said.
She explained that incidents are handled on a per-case basis, for example if the victim is underage, Social Services are contacted immediately and so is the Police.
“If someone’s life is in danger then the police are notified straight away. Some cases we handle ourselves as they may concern advice or other kinds of support. Each case is handled according to its nature,” Andronicou said.
The 200 cases, she added, were reported by the victims themselves, family or friends or even neighbours or strangers who heard voices from a house or building.
She also mentioned that in April 18 women and 26 children were taken to Spavo’s shelters.
“For someone to be accommodated in a shelter, there needs to be a testimony from the person themselves or a report by the police that their life or that of their children is in danger.
“We provide these people with individual supportive advice and we take steps to help them get back on their feet socially and professionally, obtain access to allowances, provide them with medical care and other,” Andronicou explained.
Most calls received by the 1440 helpline are from Greek Cypriots and concern domestic violence.
Andronicou said that a new service is underway for advice to perpetrators, but emphasised that it will run consecutively with criminal prosecution and is in no way a substitute for it.
“We want to help them acknowledge their share of the responsibility. This can be effective as an intervention in the initial stages but for convicts as well. The programme has been designed based on international standards and will comprise expert advice,” she said.
Spavo’s SMS line 99 98 4042 was launched on April 27, she added, and operators handled 5 incidents as of May 4.