The general term "violence" is not acceptable under any circumstances in our society. Especially when violence, under any form, takes place within the family where each individual, adult or minor, should feel comfortable and safe.

In particular, according to Article 3 of the Law on Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection of Victims) of 2000 (Law 119 (I) / 2000) – (hereinafter referred to as the "Bill"), domestic violence means and includes the following:

"Any act, omission or conduct which causes physical, sexual or mental harm to any member of the family by another family member and includes violence committed for the purpose of sexual intercourse without the consent of the victim, as well as the restriction of his freedom"

According to recent published media reports, the call system of the aid line of the Republic of Cyprus, i.e. the number 1440, which is used as an aid line for domestic violence, seems to have recorded more than 2,000 calls during March 2020, from the date of the first confirmed case in Cyprus until the 31st of March 2020.

Given the above-mentioned, and in comparison, with previous press releases regarding the number of calls recorded in the past, there is a dramatic increase in cases of domestic violence in the difficult and unprecedented conditions that the Republic of Cyprus experiences with the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Calls, reports and related complaints about cases of domestic violence seem to continue to grow rapidly, with the rate of increase reaching up to 47% compared to previous months.

In view of the above, it could be argued that the restriction and social distancing measures taken due to COVID-19, create a fertile ground for the deterioration of domestic violence, since the victims and cases are now a tool in the hands of perpetrators, presenting new tactics and methods of abuse, which cannot be accepted.

While the 1440 assistance line continues to operate on a 24-hour basis, providing the necessary support, information, guidance, empowerment and networking on a daily basis, that judicial measures are the ones which provide the security needed in any case of domestic violence.

In particular, at the disposal of any victim there is always the option for a complaint to the Police as well as the taking of judicial measures for any restrictions and other measures, in order to establish the safety and distancing of the victim from the perpetrator of domestic violence. In this regard, you can contact our Law Firm at any stage, so that we can provide advisory guidance regarding the legal measures that could be activated to combat the violence, always considering the different facts and incidents of each case.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.