The Cyprus Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (APHVF ) had received 2502 phone calls from the victims of domestic violence during 2018, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou said on Monday.
She was speaking at a press conference dedicated to the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women which is marked on November 25 and came as police appealed to all victims of violence not to remain silent.
Addressing a press conference launching the 16-day global campaign against violence organised by APHVF, Emilianidou stated that “the long-lasting cooperation between the Ministry and APHVF is of paramount importance. The Protocol of Cooperation between the Ministry and the APHVF based on a Ministerial Decision (11/2017) aiming to tackle any kind of the gender-based violence by preventing, combating and proper handling the cases of violence against women was signed in December 2017.
“We have ratified the Istanbul Convention in 2017 and on 23/01/2019 the Council of Ministers has approved the creation of the “House of Women”, which will operate as a multifunctional centre for female victims of violence, where professionals from various fields will work under the same roof for the purpose of providing appropriate support/treatment to victims and their families in a way that promotes the rights and interests of victims and their family members”.
In June 2019, the Ministry approved the creation of the “House of Women”, the project will be carried out in cooperation with APHVF.
“Our efforts, particularly in regard to the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence will continue and intensify” the minister concluded.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry said it would be lighting up the ministry’s protocol department orange later today to show Cyprus’ commitment to eradicating violence against women,
@CyprusMFA is participating in the #orangetheworld campaign, by lighting up the #Ministry‘s Protocol Department in #orange later today, to show #Cyprus‘ commitment to eradicating #VAWG and #GenderBasedViolence. #GenerationEquality #GenerationEgalite https://t.co/3Ytjb3FyQD
— Cyprus Mission in Geneva (@CyprusInGeneva) November 25, 2019
Cyprus Police Announcement
Cyprus Police on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women urges the victims of violence not to remain silent and find the courage to contact the Police and other relevant organisations.
Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Office operates under the auspices of Cyprus Police and is handling issues concerning prevention and combating of domestic violence and child abuse.
Any victim of violence can ask for help at any time at the local Police Stations. Members of the Police work in close cooperation with other competent state authorities and will react immediately ensuring confidentiality and sensitivity that is essential while dealing with the matters like this, it said.
“Victims should not be afraid or ashamed to apply to the police, exactly the opposite. Violence is unacceptable and there are laws to punish the abusers. The police protect vulnerable groups such as women and children. Ending gender-based violence should be a priority for the competent authorities. Members of the police are working to protect all citizens. We are equal and all have the right to equal treatment,” – concludes the police statement.
Demonstration outside police headquarters
On Sunday, November 24 there was a march outside police headquarters in Nicosia to demand an end to violence against women organised by the Network Against Violence to Women.
It was held on the eve of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which is marked on November 25 and a day after 37 trees were planted in Nicosia to remember the 37 women killed in Cyprus by their partners or ex-partners since 2000.
Scores gathered outside police headquarters and blew whistles for one minute — a cry in the support of women victims of violence.
Academic Theano Kalavana, member of the coordinating committee said Cyprus has much ground to cover in improving the situation, adding that some 800 incidents of violence against women were reported in 2018.
She criticised what she described as the state’s piecemeal implementation of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and said the network would continue to campaign for effective action.
Zelia Gregoriou of the network’s coordinating committee said that few of the complaints of violence ended up in court adding that the welfare services were unable to protect victims.
In an announcement, the network said “the number of women victims of violence is larger than we feared… all were victims, primarily of the state’s inability to protect them. Now you will hear us, you will open the doors. Enough.”
And they added: “no more women dead, scared, beaten, vulnerable, burned, with fractures, terrified.”
Everything must change — the mentality, financial support, the budget to implement European directives and conventions, changes in the law, education, protocols, helping victims, penalties — they concluded.
How this date had emerged
The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Resolution 54/134).
The premise of the day is to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence; furthermore, one of the aims of the day is to highlight that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.
Historically, the date is based on the date of the 1960 assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic; the killings were ordered by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930–1961). In 1981, activists at the Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encuentros marked November 25 as a day to combat and raise awareness of violence against women more broadly; on December 17, 1999, the date received its official United Nations (UN) resolution.
If you are currently suffering from any kind of abuse or you know the person who might be a victim of domestic violence, please do not be silent.
Contact details of the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (APHVF):
Tel 22339001 / 1440
Contact details of the Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Office and Missing Persons Office:
E-mail: [email protected]
Sources: Philenews, Wikipedia