12° Nicosia,
21 July, 2024

''Voice'' council president unveils rise in child abuse amidst cyber surge

Anastasia Papadopoulou highlights the urgent need for cyber education and prevention measures on DIASPORA NEWS


In an interview with "SPOR FM 95.0" on the "DIASPORA NEWS" show, Anastasia Papadopoulou, President of the "Voice" Council, discussed the escalating flow of complaints related to the sexual abuse of children and minors. Papadopoulou acknowledged the progress made in the last decade, crediting improved infrastructure, procedures, and qualified staff for empowering victims to break their silence.

Papadopoulou drew attention to a concerning rise in incidents, particularly sexual abuse, occurring online. She highlighted parents' insufficient knowledge and understanding of internet dynamics, stressing the necessity of raising awareness about protective measures regarding electronic device usage in homes. Collaborating with partners like Cyta, the Voice Council aims to provide tools and restrictions for safeguarding children.

"We need to realize that technology is overtaking us, time is overtaking us, and children are much more advanced in this," Papadopoulou remarked. Approximately one-fifth of incidents reported to the Children's Home involve minors. While progress has been made in schools, with teachers becoming the second-largest group reporting abuse, parents remain the primary source of disclosures. Papadopoulou noted that incidents involve 70% girls and 30% boys.

Addressing challenges in handling complaints, Papadopoulou mentioned delays in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. However, she expressed optimism about ongoing training initiatives with Social Welfare Officers, anticipating results in the coming year. Emphasizing prevention, especially secondary prevention, Papadopoulou stressed the need to identify vulnerabilities in children or families early on, intervening before issues escalate to abuse or sexual abuse.

Cyprus  |  abuse  |  children

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