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Thirteen femicides in Cyprus from 2019-20

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Some 13 femicides were committed in Cyprus between 2019 and 2020, with the victims in two hate crime cases being young girls.

Almost all were perpetrated by current or ex-husbands or partners, according to a report of the FEM – United project, presented by the Mediterranean Institute for Gender Studies (MIGS) and the Cyprus University of Technology.

FEM-United is a two-year EU-funded project with partners from five European countries, including Cyprus, Germany, Malta, Portugal and Spain.

A campaign titled “Make the connection” will be launched to raise awareness through five videos aiming to prevent femicides.

The study showed that between 2019 and 2020, 629 women were murdered in the participating countries, with current or ex-husbands or partners being the perpetrators in 60% of the crimes.

MIGS Director Susana Pavlou said that Cyprus has the highest rate of femicides by population compared to the rest of the participating countries.

In Cyprus, ex-husbands or partners were behind 90% of femicides.

Thirteen of these murders occurred after a breakup, which is considered the “most dangerous factor” leading to femicide.

In addition, the highest percentage of cases concern the 26-35 age group.

Pavlou said that most cases in Cyprus are women with an immigrant background, coming from within and outside the EU.

The majority of perpetrators are Cypriots, an element that differs in the other participating countries.

Most women in Cyprus were strangled, while competent authorities were aware of previous violent incidents in only one of the 13 cases of those murdered.

In two cases, the fact that women received death threats was known.

MIGS Program Coordinator, Alexia Siakou, said that they would forward recommendations to policymakers following the study, aiming to prevent femicides.