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Abuse against women lower than EU averages.

Although physical, sexual and psychological abuse against women in Cyprus is lower than the EU average, it is still high, Ombudswoman Eliza Savvidou said on Tuesday.

Around 22 per cent of Cypriot women over the age of 15 currently fall victim to physical and sexual abuse and 39 per cent suffer psychological abuse.

Savvidou, whose speech was read out by official from her office Aristos Tsiartas at a seminar on combating gender violence through the media, said the percentages in Cyprus may not even show the extent of the problem due to the social structure of society, in which women are reluctant to come forward. This meant cases were rarely reported or perpetrators punished.

"Violence against women continues to be an insidious and invisible enemy often fostered by silence on the part of the victims," she said, adding that violence should not be a private matter.

"To prevent and address violence against women requires commitment, rigour, cooperation and coordination, both by the state and government agencies as well as from civil society, and every individual."

To more effectively address the situation however, a change in attitude and perceptions was needed, along with the removal of traditional stereotypes and roles.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:4EXCY
Date:Dec 2, 2014
Words:213
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