There has been a dramatic increase in domestic violence in March as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and the restrictions that have been imposed on movement.
The Association for the Prevention and Handling of Family Violence (SPABO) said its help line (1440) had recorded 2,075 calls from the day of the first confirmed coronavirus case in Cyprus on March 9 up to March 31.
Of these, the association was able to answer 921 calls. The rest could not be answered because the lines were busy.
In the 23 days, there were 15 requests to go to a safe house, 12 for advice and 230 reports of violence in the family, which is ten a day. This is about 47% higher than previous months.
Confinement because of Covid-19 increases the frequency, degree and danger of violence against women and children, SPABO said.
It has also been used as a tool to abuse and control by withholding personal protection, using children as a way to exercise psychological violence, ignoring decrees and exposing women and children to the virus, threatening to evict and preventing women from seeking medical advice among other.
SPABO said its help line 1440 is in operation as are all its safe houses and can also provide support through email and teleconferencing.
“For many women and children their home may put their lives in danger. If you hear or suspect that someone is being subjected to violence you must call for help. Police 112, Help line 1440,” it concluded.