The National Machinery for Women’s Rights (NMWR) works on overcoming the gender stereotypes that promote gender-based violence through activities under the Chapter on Education and the Chapter on Mass Media, such as research on gender equality in these fields and the sensitization and training of teachers, parents and students, as well as journalists and policy-makers in the mass media.
The National Plans to eradicate gender-based violence have been criticized by the European Women’s Lobby, in the sense that they fail to provide proper support and protection to victims, prevention measures are inadequate and do not address the root causes of violence, and there is no specific timelines for implementation or funds are not allocated. Moreover, NGOs and women’s movements report that the government does not consult them in the creation of policies to combat gender-based violence. When consultation occurs, it is superficial and does not result in real policy changes. 
The Family (Prevention and Protection of Victims) Law 119 (I) of 1994, amended in 2000 and 2004, defines domestic violence as an offence or behaviour of a member of a family that causes physical, sexual or psychological damages to another member of the family, including sexual assault and limitation of an individual’s freedom. The 2004 amendment includes the enhancement of the Courts’ powers to issue protection orders, a provision that allows for the appointment of Family Counsellors, and the creation of the Advisory Committee for the Prevention and Combating of Domestic Violence (ACPCDV).
The ACPCDV is charged with monitoring the implementation of the Law, the taking of testimony of victims of violence by electronic means, the protection of victims and witnesses, etc.
The ACPCDV’s work also includes raising awareness among professionals and the general public about domestic violence, the enhancement of interdepartmental cooperation and the evaluation of existing services.
The Social Welfare Services, of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, is the main institution charged with dealing with domestic violence prevention.
The Preventive Services provide financial assistance and counselling and support to families facing domestic violence.
There is one national women’s helpline, one women’s shelter, and one women’s centre in Cyprus.
The Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Office is the central agency charged with monitoring cases and incidents of domestic violence and child abuse that are reported to Police Stations all over Cyprus and with collaborating with the investigators as well as with professionals from other relevant Services. This office maintains an electronic registry of all the cases and publishes relevant statistics every year. Also, in cooperation with the Police Academy, they organize special trainings for the police and published a manual on handling domestic violence cases. 
The Cyprus law on domestic violence is considered to be adequate and its broad scope has been cited as an example of best practice. However, the ‘family violence’ framework has been criticized by experts on violence against women, as it results in public policies that aim to combat domestic violence from a gender blind perspective, and does not consider the gendered power relations that are at stake in violence against women. In addition, it has been argued that gender-neutral legislation is subject to manipulation by offenders and it has helped to prioritise the stability of the family over the rights of the (mainly female) complainant or survivor, since it does not specifically reflect or address women’s experiences of violence. As a result, it was argued that this gender-neutral legislation fails to recognise the differences and specific needs of women and men in terms of their experiences of violence, and it does not identify violence as a manifestation of unequal power relations between men and women. 
There is only one shelter for family violence in operation in Cyprus, run by the NGO Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (not the Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance). The Social Welfare Services provides some financial support for the operation of the Association’s victims support services (shelter, women’s counselling centre, helpline).
In 2010, there were 884 cases of domestic violence, 671 of which were female victims, with 611 of the cases involving an adult female (18 years old or older).
Information from 2010 suggests an overwhelming preference for imposing monetary fines and financial guarantees on perpetrators as the majority of penalties imposed were fines (74%), 21% were imprisonment and/or suspended sentences, and 5% were probations. In regards to imprisonment, the maximum penalty was 12 years and the minimum 10 days. Fines range from 50€ to 3,850€. Reported cases seldom develop into a criminal investigation (about 40 percent). 90% of cases that were formally investigated proceeded to court but only half of these were completed. The rest were suspended, interrupted, withdrawn or overruled by the courts.
is a crime under the Criminal Code, which defines it as having unlawful carnal knowledge of a female, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or fear of bodily harm, or, in the case of a married woman, by impersonating her husband.
The punishment for rape is imprisonment for life, and ten years for attempted rape.
The definition of rape specifically includes marital rape under The Violence in the Family (Prevention and Protection of Victims) Law of 2004.
There is no evidence suggesting that the perpetrator escape prosecution by marrying the victim.
Cyprus lacks a rape crisis centre or specialized services for victims of rape and sexual assault. There are no centres for women survivors of sexual violence in Cyprus.
While the law is very strict in regards to rape, implementation is weak, according to the European Women’s Lobby.
In 2010, there were 36 reported cases of rape and a total of 79 cases of sexual violence.
Under the Equal Treatment for Men and Women in Employment and Vocational Training Law, sexual harassment is considered a type of sex discrimination. It is defined as any form of unwanted verbal, non/verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. According to Law 205(I)/2002, the employer, in addition to the perpetrator, may also be held responsible for acts of sexual harassment
done by his/her employees, whether they are supervisors or co-workers of the victim. Complaints are dealt by the Gender Equality Committee and the Gender Equality Inspectors. 
Cyprus has signed several international conventions banning Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
, including CEDAW, UDHR and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2010/C 83/02). In 2003 the Penal Code was amended to add a provision banning the cutting or mutilation, in any way, of the major lip or the minor lip or the clitoris of a woman’s genitalia.
In Cyprus there is a strong lack of choice, accessibility and affordability of contraception for all women, especially young girls and vulnerable groups, migrants and domestic workers. The contraceptive methods available in Cyprus are limited to the male condom, few brands of combined oral contraceptives, the Intra-Uterine Device (IUD), and hormonal Intra-Uterine Systems (IUS). These are not available in state hospitals but only through private clinics, pharmacies at market prices. Diaphragms, injectable hormonal contraception, mini-pills, femidoms, and other modern contraceptive options are not available in Cyprus. This scarcity of options provided regarding sexual protection and contraception is likely to affect the prevention of sexually transmitted illness and unwanted pregnancy prevention, and have adverse effects on quality of life for many women and girls.
Female genital mutilation and other harmful traditional practices, like honour-related violence or forced marriage are not considered as issues in Cyprus, despite an increasing migrant population. In addition, there is a lack of data on particular forms of harmful traditional practices. In an environment where patriarchal regimes still influence the everyday life of women and men, issues affecting primarily women and girls, such as forced marriage, remain silenced by migrant women as they fear being further marginalised. There is no research or data on gender based violence within ethnic minority and migrant communities in Cyprus and so it is difficult to make any assumptions as to its extent. It is also worth noting that, despite the important migrant population in Cyprus, migrant women and women from ethnic minorities are not included in the National Action Plan on Combating Violence in the Family (2010-2015). This makes them invisible on a policy level. There is no evidence to suggest that services for victims of violence are culturally sensitive or able to assist women with special needs or women facing multiple discriminations.
Since 1986, the voluntary termination of a pregnancy is only allowed in Cyprus to save a woman’s life and/or health, in the case of rape, incest or foetal impairment. Certification from two physicians is required to proceed, except in the case of rape, when a police report is required.
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