A total of 13 femicides were committed in Cyprus between 2019 and 2020, with the victims in two cases being young girls. Almost all were perpetrated by current or ex-husbands or partners, according to a report, prepared in the framework of the FEM – United project, which was presented on Tuesday by the Mediterranean Institute for Gender Studies (MIGS) and Cyprus University of Technology, during a press conference at Frederick University, in Nicosia.
FEM-United is a two-year EU-funded project with partners from five European countries, including Cyprus, Germany, Malta, Portugal and Spain. A campaign titled “Make the connection” will be launched to raise awareness through five videos, aiming to prevent femicides.
The project’s study showed that between 2019 and 2020 a total of 629 women were murdered in the participating countries, with current or ex-husbands or partners being the perpetrators in 60% of the crimes.
Speaking during the press conference, MIGS Director Susana Pavlou said that Cyprus has the highest rate of femicides by population, in comparison to the rest of the participating countries.
In Cyprus, ex-husbands or partners were behind 90% of femicides. Thirteen of these murders took place after a breakup, which is considered to be the “most dangerous factor” leading to a femicide. The highest percentage of cases concern the 26-35 age group.
Pavlou said that most cases in Cyprus are women with immigrant background, coming from within and outside the EU. The majority of perpetrators are Cypriot citizens, and element that differs in the other participating countries, she added.
Most women in Cyprus were strangled, while competent authorities were aware of previous violent incidents in only one of the 13 cases of women that were subsequently murdered. In two cases, the fact that women received death threats was known.
MIGS Program Coordinator, Alexia Siakou, said that following the study, they will forward a set of recommendations to policymakers, aiming at preventing femicides. Natassa Frederickou, President of the Council at Frederick University, spoke about the campaign and the videos, created by the University.