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500 domestic violence cases in two months

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Cases of domestic violence in Cyprus are on the rise, as police revealed that officers have investigated almost 500 domestic violence cases and made 93 arrests during September and October alone.

According to data provided to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) by the police, officers in Limassol received 135 complaints, in Nicosia 131 complaints, 117 in Larnaca, 37 in Paphos, 68 in Famagusta, and in Morphou eight.

The Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (SPAVO), told CNA that their data also confirm that domestic violence cases are increasing at a worrying rate.

SPAVO defines abuse as a repetitive pattern of behaviour aimed at maintaining power and control over a partner, physically harming, instilling fear, preventing autonomy, or forcing undesirable behaviour.

Data from SPAVO indicates a rising trend in domestic violence reports over the past four years. Incidents increased from 1,384 in 2019 to 2,147 in 2020, 2,854 in 2021, and a significant spike to 3,122 in 2022, with 2,550 recorded from January to October 2023.

Shelter

The association’s helpline received 914 calls, and the Women’s House shelter handled 387 cases, providing legal advice in 45 instances and processing 12 requests for legal aid.

In 2023, so far, SPAVO facilities accommodated 317 women and 437 children. The data reveals that 90% of perpetrators were Cypriots. The most prevalent form of violence was physical and psychological abuse (69%), followed by physical, psychological, and financial violence (19%).

In 43% of cases, the perpetrator-victim relationship were spouses, 32% cohabitants, 6% ex-spouses, and 3% of cases involved adult child abuse to a parent.

The police knew of the victim’s case in 37% of calls, while social welfare services knew about 29%.

Regarding violence against children, psychological violence accounted for 41%, physical violence 26%, sexual violence 0.5%, and neglect 8%. In 80% of cases, the child witnessed violence, and 38% were subjected to a combination of witnessing and experiencing violence.