The majority of those who fall victim to violence in Cyprus are women by about 80%, according to the Cyprus Gender Research Centre.
The Cyprus Gender Research Centre (EKIF) in an announcement called for more measures to be taken to stop sexual abuse, exploitation of women and minors and distribution of pornographic material.
The announcement came within the framework of the Cabinet approving the bill on the prevention and combating of sexual abuse of children as well as child pornography.
The bill aims to replace outdated legislation with regard to the status of victims in criminal procedures.
Cyprus was recently shocked by a child sex abuse scandal involving two men – one being a prominent Larnaca businessman - convicted of sexually exploiting two underage girls aged 14 and 15.
The EKIF announcement also came within the framework of the signing by 13 EU countries of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
EKIF said the fact that 13 EU countries signed the Council of Europe Convention on violence against women is “a historical step for EU women”.
It said that “violence against wom en and girls should not be considered as a private issue but as a political issue that concerns the welfare of a society based on human rights”.
The Centre argued that emphasis needs to be given to prevention of paedophilia through a coordinated effort involving all carriers to include the family, school, media, police, the government, local authorities and NGOs.
According to the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family, in a period of just three years there were 81 cases reported concerning child sexual abuse.
In 2011 there were 28 cases of sexual abuse and 129 cases of physical abuse.
Some 80% of cases involved female victims.
According to the Association, in 2012, one in three Cypriot women (28%) fell victim to some form of violence by their husband or partner. From those women who reported the cases, 77.7% were victims of physical abuse, 19.1% of psychological abuse and 3.15% of sexual abuse.
According to the police, in 2012, there were 176 cases reported that concerned child abuse, 41 out of which concerned sexual abuse of minors.