UN Police supports joint efforts to stop domestic violence across the divide in Cyprus

1 Jun 2023

UN Police supports joint efforts to stop domestic violence across the divide in Cyprus

According to statistics, there has been a significant rise in the incidence of domestic violence across the divide in Cyprus. Domestic violence and other violence against women can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. Studies show it can even occur regardless of one’s marital status or educational and socioeconomic background.

On 31 May, the Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal Matters, with support from UNFICYP, held a seminar on domestic violence, focusing on child abuse and femicide at the Ledra Palace Hotel in Nicosia. 

The Technical Committee team leaders, Professor Andreas Kapardis and Salih Doratli, spoke at the opening, together with the Mission' Senior Advisor, Aderemi Adekoya, and UNPOL Senior Police Advisor, Assistant Police Commissioner Satu Koivu. 

In her opening remarks, Koivu said: “We all, as mothers and fathers, women, men, boys, girls, children, and parents, we always believe that home is the safest place on earth. And that's the message that we want to send to our families, our closest ones, and our children and to all communities where we live. But unfortunately, for some people, the most dangerous place can be their own home.”

The Mission' Senior Advisor congratulated the technical committee on the efforts to address this topic in the context of committee's work and for the focus on the prevention of femicide and child abuse. He emphasized that good policies and practices are needed to challenge the norms, and stereotypes that are often perpetuate and normalize domestic violence adding that prevention is key.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the numbers of domestic violence have exponentially increased across the globe. “That is why the COVID-19 can also be called as a pandemic of femicide and gender-based violence against women,” Koivu added.

The event offered a space for experienced practitioners, academics, and civil society representatives from across the divide, to address the phenomenon and suggest effective approaches to its prevention. The seminar comes as part of the UN’s efforts to support the technical committee efforts to work on trust-building measures and sharing the concern both internationally during the COVID pandemic and locally about children and women as victims of domestic violence and emphasis was given on both the prevention and victim support.