The alarm has been constantly sounding over the past few years on the sexual abuse of children, with a rising number of cases being reported in Cyprus, as authorities encourage a support system for more victims to come forward and seek to stamp out the phenomenon, in close cooperation with relevant state and non-governmental organisations.
More than 1,500 incidents or complaints have been recorded in five years, according to relevant data, with 250 cases this year alone.
Europe marked Protection of Children from Sexual Abuse Day, pointing to the need for more effective mechanisms in securing the safety of victims and closing down on perpetrators, usually part of the children’s environment, either relatives or friends.
Cyprus has sadly seen a steady rise of reported cases, ranging from 138 in 2017 to 278 last year and almost the same number currently.
Some of these incidents remain open investigations and require very delicate handling by authorities that have set up special branches to deal with such sensitive cases, which might include violence in the family, abuse of women and sexual abuse of children.
It is believed that the covid pandemic and its restrictions have been a contributing factor to the worsening of such phenomena, but authorities also point to the need for parents to receive adequate sex education in order to recognise such incidents, as well as teaching their children how to face them and importantly, have the courage to come forward.