Cases of domestic violence in Cyprus sharply increased by 67% last year from 2020 and 159% compared to pre-coronavirus 2019, according to police data.
Police said Thursday that 3,362 domestic violence cases were reported in 2021, compared to 2,002 the previous year.
In the first four months of 2022, police filed 950 cases, putting the year on course for an unwanted record.
Based on the data from the Police’s Sub-Directorate for the Management of People in Vulnerable Situations, compiled by Politis newspaper, domestic violence cases have been rising for the past seven years.
Cases of domestic violence reported to authorities have climbed from 951 in 2015 to 3,362 in 2021.
In comments to Politis online, Deputy Director of the crime prevention department, Kyriaki Lambrianidou, attributed the increase to the fact that victims are more confident to speak out.
She believes it could be interpreted as an indication that victims have started to trust law enforcement more than they did in the past.
In addition, two new laws have been passed, which address violence against women and strengthen the legal framework on domestic violence by adding psychological and financial violence.
Lambrianidou said the decision to set up a special task force in every district to handle cases of domestic abuse has improved trust, encouraging victims to come forward.
She said that of the hundreds of cases reported yearly; only one-third reach a court.
This is because victims of domestic violence will either withdraw the complaint, not cooperate, or the Legal Service may suggest that a case remain pending.
Lambrianidou explained that the Attorney General might consider that a second chance may be warranted.
But, if, during the grace period, the same person is reported again, the first case will be reopened.