129 strangulation attacks against women in 2020

The majority of the victims are foreigners and the perpetrators are Greek Cypriots.

violence 11 2014 620x454 1 female homicides, CIVIL VIOLENCE, ATTACKS, strangulation

The data given yesterday in Parliament regarding the violence against women, the death threats and the murders of women by men are shocking. Typical is the case of the serial killer, who before his arrest had killed five women and two children. The majority of the victims are foreigners and the perpetrators are Greek Cypriots.

The data were given during the discussion in the Legal Committee of the Parliament of the bill proposed by the President of Annita Dimitriou, which establishes that of homicide as a private crime. According to data provided to MPs by the scientific director of SPAVO, Andri Andronikou, in 2020 alone, 2147 cases of violence against women were recorded. Of these, 417 cases of women who received death threats stand out. Also, in another 321 cases, women received threats against their lives by using a weapon, while 129 times they tried to strangle them. "We used to call these crimes of passion in the past. Now, with this change that we are attempting in the legislation, I believe that we will succeed and we will change a lot ", said Ms. Andronikou, emphasizing that at the same time it should be taken into account that in other countries, the burden of proof falls on the perpetrator and not to the perpetrator.

In her statement, the Chairwoman of the Advisory Committee for the Prevention and Combating of Violence against the Family, Suzana Pavlou, after welcoming the initiative of the Speaker of Parliament, referred in numbers to the increase in female homicides over the past two years.

Citing data, he said that from 2010 to 2016, 28 cases of female homicide were recorded. Of these, 21 were categorized as cases of companionship / domestic violence. She stated that in total the homicides recorded between the period 2019 - '20, were 13, including two little girls (victims of Nikos Metaxas). It was also stressed by Ms. Pavlou that most of the cases concerned migrant women and the perpetrators were Greek Cypriots.

Moreover, in her statements, Ms. Dimitriou stated that with this proposal, the Republic of Cyprus and the Parliament take the lead in defending human rights and eradicating stereotypes.

As he said, genocide is the most extreme form of gender-based violence and the specific amendment to the Penal Code will strengthen the legal arsenal of the Republic of Cyprus so that it is in line with its obligations to eliminate violence and discrimination against women or groups of women. This amendment, he added, gives a visibility to a social reality that the legislator can no longer cover or overlook. He also said that it is very important that this amendment will contribute to the elimination of stereotypes, to empathy, but also to the culture of full respect for human rights. "Today is a great leap forward in women's rights, in the strengthening of human rights and in tackling a now-accepted phenomenon of female genital mutilation that, after the pandemic in particular, is on the rise," she said.

Regarding the reservations expressed by the Legal Service, Ms. Dimitriou said that this is a change in the description of the crime, while it does not change anything in the sentences. He expressed the hope that with the help of experts on these issues and the Legal Service, it will be done in such a way that it does not make it difficult to prove the murders of women. He also said that Cyprus is the first country to criminalize sexism and that the Republic of Cyprus can take the lead in the issue of female genital mutilation and be a useful tool for dealing with the phenomenon. He added that similar actions are currently underway in other countries.

The Speaker of Parliament finally stated that it is considered appropriate to introduce the new crime to deal with the new criminological and anthropological phenomenon of homicide, as manifested by men against women precisely because the victims are women.

Lifetime imprisonment for the guilty

The purpose of the bill is to amend the penal code to introduce the crime of murder, which will carry a sentence of life imprisonment. As noted in the proposal, homicide, that is, the killing of women or girls under the age of eighteen, as an act due, inter alia, to domestic violence, or sexual violence, or to reasons of honor or religious beliefs and genital mutilation practices remains in most cases. with impunity, reinforcing the notion that violence against women is an acceptable or even inevitable phenomenon.

In this context, violence against women is widely accepted as a form of discrimination that violates the constitutionally enshrined principle of equality.

The proposal establishes the homonymous crime of feminicide, in order to deal with the new criminological and anthropological phenomenon of feminicide (femicide), as manifested by men to the detriment of women, because the victims are precisely women.

At the same time that everyone in Parliament seems to agree with the bill, the Legal Service expressed its reservations, saying that a possible amendment to the law may make it difficult for the prosecution to prove a case.

As the representative of the Legal Service explained, more evidence will be needed to prove the homicide, in contrast to what is happening today. It must be proved beyond the law, that death occurred from torture or abuse, he concluded.

For their part, the members of the Legal Committee did not ask any questions and it is expected that the debate on the proposal will continue in the next session with the article examination.