Since its operation in September 2017, the Children’s House centre has received referrals of 1,565 children that were sexually abused, the Hope For Children Organisation said.
In 2017-2018 when the House operated only in Nicosia, 136 children were referred, while in 2019, when it began operating island-wide, it handled 294 cases.
In 2020 there were 324 cases; in 2021, 481 and until October, referrals received this year were for 330 children.
According to data from the 2022 statistical analysis, in terms of gender, 23.3% were boys, and 76.7% were girls, which is also consistent with the 2021 data.
The average age of the children was 12, and the most common age was 14.
Up to 60% of the victims were Cypriots, followed by other nationalities, in much smaller percentages.
Regarding the form of sexual abuse, 49.7% (164 children) were involved in sexual abuse with physical contact, 23.3% (77 children) were involved in sexual abuse without physical contact, while 20.3% (67 children) related to another type of sexual abuse such as exposure or exploitation (photos or videos on the internet).
The numbers agree with international and European surveys.
If a case is referred to the House, children receive immediate support until the case is heard in court.
The Children’s House has managed to bring together professionals from different specialities who can speak in a common voice in support of the children.
Children’s House was assigned to Hope for Children by the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare.
It provides judicial interviews, medical examinations, psychological and social support, treatment and rehabilitation.
In the House area, professionals from the Cyprus Police, the Social Welfare Services, the Mental Health Services, and the Educational Psychology Service collaborate and cooperate.