Cyprus

All the information on the event in Cyprus

On the 10 December 2013, the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies organised an event in the Hose of Europe at Nicosia, aiming at starting the debate on the need to take immediate measures to prevent sexual violence and rape, and to protect and support victims. Also , to promote the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence as one of the most important tools on the Elimination of all forms of violence against women.

During the event we had interventions from Susana Pavlou, President of the Cyprus Women’s Lobbyand expert of the EWL Observatory on violence against women, Mr. Rikkos Mappourides, Member of the House Committee on Human Rights and Equal Opportunities, Ms. Nasia Dionysiou, Officer of the Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) and Human Rights, and Dr. Dimitra Sorvatzioti, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Nicosia. There were also significant interventions by representatives of NGOs such as the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family, the Movement for Equality, Support and Anti-racism (KISA) and Hands across the Divide.

Through the discussions held, it was made clear that the Cyprus legislative framework in relation to rape and sexual violence does not meet the minimum standards set by the Istanbul Convention. For example, in the Cyprus Criminal Code rape, indecent assault, and the ‘corruption of a woman through the use of threats, fraud, or the administration of drugs’ is classified as a criminal offence against ‘morals’ and not as a human rights violation. The Convention clearly defines violence against women as a human rights violation that is directly linked to gender inequality. While in the Cyprus penal code rape is narrowly defined, the Convention broadens the definition of rape and sexual violence includes all non-consensual acts of a sexual nature.

Furthermore, through the discussion and the interventions by NGOs and women’s organisations, it was revealed that there are no specialized services for the support and protection victims of rape and sexual violence. During the event, a survivor of rape talked about the lack of support and the poor treatment she received from the health services. The lack of support and protection also has a huge impact on the ability of victims to go through the criminal justice process.

The Minister of Justice has committed to signing the Istanbul Convention once the results of a study that is being carried out by the Government to examine the legal and financial implications of signing and ratifying the Istanbul Convention are finalized. This is expected by end of January 2014.

Find out more at the following link.

Media coverage of the event:

http://www.cytoday.eu/index.php?id=357&nid=2637859

http://www.24h.com.cy/component/k2/item/44031-gnorise-kai-diekdikise-ta-dikaiomata-gia-isi-ekprosopisi-antron-ginekon.html

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