Three-quarters (75%) of victims of family violence, intimate partner violence and abuse of minors in Cyprus are girls and women, statistics by the Police Headquarters’ Directorate for Vulnerable Persons Affairs show.
According to the data, in the past couple of years, there was a large increase in the number of complaints regarding domestic violence, owing to the creation of the district Family Violence Units of the police.
Specifically, in 2021, police handled a total of 3,362 complaints, while in 2022 they handled approximately 3,200 complaints.
The number of complaints handled in 2021 was 45% higher than those handled in 2020, while a large increase was also recorded in the number of arrests for criminal offences of this nature.
March 8 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, Police Director of the Sub-Directorate for the management of cases concerning vulnerable persons, Kyriaki Lambrianidou told Cyprus News Agency.
Lambrianidou noted that the Istanbul Convention, signed by the EU in 2017, is perhaps the first legally binding international text that sets criteria for the prevention of gender-based violence and the protection of women from this type of crime.
Based on international studies, she added, it is proven that one in three women has suffered some form of physical or sexual violence or even both.
She also said that police in Cyprus took measures to recognise and manage gender-based violence, as well as to protect victims and handle inequalities caused by violence against women.
These include the establishment of the Sub-Directorate for the Management of Vulnerable Persons Cases, the creation of district Family Violence Units and modifications to protocols, among others.
At the same time, Lambrianidou said, police, are educating and raising awareness on such issues both among the public and the members of the force.
The “revolutionary” measures taken by police, in the last three years at least, have borne fruit, by creating a friendly environment, so that victims can submit their complaints more easily, while the management of these cases is being handled immediately, Lambrianidou said.
She added, however, that we should create the conditions that support and favour such “revolutions”, but also be able to think revolutionary, like many women, remembering the reasons why we celebrate International Women’s Day.