From the day of its operation in September 2017 until October 2022 Children’s House received referrals for 1,565 children to be investigated for sexual abuse, Hope For Children Organization said on Friday in a press release on the occasion of today’s European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
In 2017-2018 when the House operated only in Nicosia, 136 children were referred, while in 2019 when it began operating island-wide it handled 294 cases. In 2020 324 cases, in 2021 481 and until October 2022 referrals were received for 330 children.
According to data from the 2022 statistical analysis, in terms of gender, 23.3% were boys and 76.7% were girls, which is also consistent with the 2021 data.
The average age of the children was 12 years and the most common age was 14. Up to 60% of the victims have Cypriot nationality, followed by other nationalities, in much smaller percentages.
Regarding the form of sexual abuse found figures show that 49.7% (164 children) involved sexual abuse with physical contact, 23.3% (77 children) involved sexual abuse without physical contact, while 20.3% (67 children) related to another type of sexual abuse such as exposure or exploitation (eg photos or videos on the internet).
The numbers, the press release says, agree with both international and European surveys as well as data obtained from equivalent structures.
If a case is referred to the House, children receive immediate support until the case is heard in Court.
The Children’s House, the press release adds, has managed to bring together professionals from completely different specialties who are able to speak in a common voice in support of the children.
“Hope For Children” supports and promotes the Council of Europe’s campaign “Getting it right: ensuring child-friendly justice through Barnahus structures in Europe” which invites member states to focus their attention on standards structure Barnahus (“House of the Child” in Icelandic).
Children’s House was assigned to Hope for Children by the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare.
It provides services such as the judicial interview, medical examinations, psychological and social support, treatment and rehabilitation. In the House area, professionals from the Cyprus Police, the Social Welfare Services, the Mental Health Services, the Educational Psychology Service and the Medical Services collaborate and cooperate.
Source: Cyprus News Agency