Domestic violence cases up by a quarter in Cyprus

There was a 25 per cent increase in domestic violence cases that reached the courtrooms in 2007, compared to the year before.

Furthermore, a five per cent increase was noted in the amount of people who came forward and reported a domestic violence crime.

The data was submitted by the police to the House Gender Equality Committee yesterday.

Costas Veis, the head of the Domestic Violence Office of the police, said there were 1,053 reported cases in 2007, compared to the previous year’s 1,016.

Of these cases, 79.18 per cent had to do with physical abuse, 18.86 per cent psychological and 1.96 per cent were sexual.

The vast majority of victims were women (72 per cent), men followed with 16.8 per cent and children with 11.3 per cent (6.4 per cent were female and 4.9 per cent were male).

Over 80 per cent of culprits were men, 16.4 per cent were women and 1.6 per cent were children.

Deputies pointed out that the increase in reported cases could be seen as a positive thing, as the crime of domestic violence is no longer taking place behind closed doors and more people are coming forward.

Committee Chairman Dina Akkelidou of AKEL said the increase in cases was disappointing and worrying, but it was also encouraging that domestic violence was being revealed, whereas it had in the past been hidden due to shame.

Antigoni Papadopoulou of DIKO said that unfortunately the law was not being implemented , while Roulla Mavronicola of EDEK referred to a 2008 survey, which showed that there were 400 new cases in the first months of the year.

Finally, Stella Kyriakidou of DISY said that domestic violence led to other social problems, such as drug abuse and football hooliganism, and that the best way to deal with the situation was to concentrate on prevention.

http://www.cyprus-mail.com/news/main.php?id=39065&cat_id=1

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