Domestic Violence

In accordance with Section 3 of the Violence in the Family (Prevention and Protection of Victims) Laws, violence in the family means “any unlawful act, omission or behaviour which results in the direct infliction of physical, sexual or mental injury to any member of the family by another member of the family and includes violence used for the purpose of sexual intercourse without the consent of the victim as well as for the purpose of restricting its liberty”.

Following the implementation of the legislation, the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare appoints Family Counselors, whose responsibilities are to deal directly with reports of violence. All Social Workers are authorized to act as Family Counselors.

Family Counsellors manage incidents of family violence in accordance with the “Manual of Interdepartmental Procedures on the handling of Domestic Violence" which was drafted by the Advisory Committee on the Prevention and Combating of Violence in the Family and was approved by the Council of Ministers on 16/5/2002. The Manual describes the procedures and guidelines to be followed by professionals appointed from the Services concerned (Social Welfare Services, the Law Office of the Republic, the Police, the Health Services, the Ministry of Education and Culture and Non-Governmental Organisations) with the aim to work together towards managing incidents of violence in the family.

A person wishing to report violence or possible violence against children and adults can contact a Social Services Officer at the Social Services Office in their area, and can either reveal their identity or they can report it anonymously.

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