NewsLocal1,565 complaints for child sexual abuse referred to Children's House between 2017-2022

1,565 complaints for child sexual abuse referred to Children’s House between 2017-2022

The Children’s House received 1,565 referrals for child sexual abuse in the past five years, Hope For Children said in a press release on Friday, on the occasion of European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.

According to Hope for Children, in 2017 and 2018 when the House started operating in Nicosia only, 136 children were referred as victims of sexual abuse, while in 2019 when it began operating across Cyprus it handled 294 cases. In 2020, the House investigated 324 cases, in 2021 481 and until October 2022 it received 330 referrals.

According to 2022 data, 23.3% of the cases concerned boys and 76.7% concerned girls.

The average age of the children was 12 years and the most common age was 14. Up to 60% of the victims have Cypriot nationality.

Regarding the form of abuse, data show that 49.7% of the cases (164) involved sexual abuse with physical contact, 23.3% (77 children) involved sexual abuse without physical contact, while 20.3% (67 children) related to another type of sexual abuse such as exposure or exploitation (i.e. photos or videos on the internet).

The numbers are consistent with other international and European surveys, the press release said.

When a case is referred to the House, children receive immediate support until the case goes to Court, Hope for Children explained.

Children’s House provides services such as judicial interviews, medical examinations, psychological and social support, treatment and rehabilitation for victims of abuse.

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