This campaign is being run by the Office of the Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) in Cyprus to spread a clear message on zero tolerance for violence against women, eliminate gender stereotypes and challenge socio-cultural attitudes that render violent behaviour acceptable.
According to a national study carried out for the Advisory Committee for the Prevention and Combating of Violence in the Family (ACPCFV) in Cyprus, at least 28% of adult women have experienced some form of abuse, with 57% of them reporting that they did not tell anybody about their abuse, only 1/3 of them asked for help and that 1/3 had little or no knowledge of available services for the support and protection of victims of domestic violence. Of those who reported their abuse only 5% used the Hotline and only 2% reported the incident to the Police.
Furthermore, a series of evaluations and studies have repeatedly identified the need for awareness raising and specialised training for professionals working in the area of violence against women (VAW).
In order to tackle this problem, the Office of the Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) together with the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies, Cyprus Academy of Public Administration (CAPA) and Advisory Committee for the Prevention & Combating of Violence in the Family (ACPCVF), has developed communication and information activities, as well as training for professionals from different disciplines, aiming to end violence against women and girls in Cyprus.
A coordinated and targeted national media campaign on VAW, due to take place until November 2015, aims to spread a clear message on zero tolerance for VAW, eliminate gender stereotypes and challenge socio-cultural attitudes that render violent behaviour acceptable, by targeting specifically men and boys (age 10+).
Furthermore, trainings given to key professionals aim to raise awareness and knowledge of these professionals on the issue of VAW, their ability to respond to the needs of the victims, as well as to promote inter-agency cooperation and collaboration with relevant NGOs. The trainings cover the relevant legal framework but also issues related to perceptions and attitudes to VAW, different forms of VAW, gender stereotypes and women’s rights.