NICOSIA — A domestic abuse association in Cyprus says forced seclusion because of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a nearly 50% spike in family violence reports in March.
The Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family says of the nearly 2,100 calls to its helpline through March, more than half went unanswered because staff were overwhelmed.
The association says confinement due to the new virus increases the intensity, frequency and danger of violence against women and children. It also offers perpetrators different ways to abuse victims like using children to pressure a spouse psychologically, using threats of exposure to the virus, withholding items like medicine, masks and antiseptic liquids and preventing women from seeking medical help in case symptoms appear.
The association said it continues its operate its helpline and that all shelters remain open.