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19 June, 2024
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Police investigate 494 cases of domestic violence in just 2 months

Alarming statistics reveal a sharp increase in domestic violence incidents, prompting urgent action and raising concerns about the safety of victims across the island


In just two months—September and October 2023—Cyprus Police investigated a staggering 494 cases of domestic violence, leading to the issuance of 93 arrest warrants. Nicosia reported 131 cases, Limassol 135, Larnaca 117, Paphos 37, Famagusta 68, and Morphou 6, highlighting a pervasive issue across the island.

The Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (SPAVO) emphasizes that domestic violence transcends nationality, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender, affecting people across all socioeconomic backgrounds and educational levels. SPAVO defines abuse as a recurring pattern of behaviors aimed at maintaining power and control over a partner, encompassing physical, sexual, emotional, and financial forms of violence.

The alarming trend reveals an increase in domestic violence incident reports over the last four years. In 2019, there were 1,384 incidents, escalating to 2,147 in 2020, 2,854 in 2021, and 3,122 in 2022. From the beginning of 2023 until October, 2,550 incidents were recorded.

SPAVO's Emergency Center received 914 calls, and the Women's House addressed 387 cases, providing legal advice in 45 instances and receiving 12 requests for legal aid. SPAVO premises accommodated 317 women and 437 children. Disturbingly, 90% of perpetrators were identified as Cypriots.

Among the reported cases, physical and psychological violence accounted for 69%, physical, psychological, and sexual violence for 5%, physical, psychological, and economic violence for 19%, and all forms of violence for 7%. The perpetrator-victim relationship breakdown revealed spouses in 43% of cases, cohabitants in 32%, and ex-spouses in 6%.

Of the SPAVO call center cases, 67% of victims were Cypriot citizens, with 68% living with the perpetrator. Additionally, 66% of perpetrators were Cypriot citizens, 62% of families included minors, and 35% of minors experienced direct violence, while 62% witnessed violence. Notably, 37% of victims were known to the police, 29% to Social Welfare Services, and 34% had no prior involvement with government agencies.

Violence against children was reported as psychological in 41% of cases, physical in 26%, and a combination of forms in 38%, emphasizing the urgent need for comprehensive intervention and support.

[Information from CNA]

Cyprus  |  violence  |  crime

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