16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence: Improving the assessment and management of risk in cases of intimate partner violence

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The 16 days between today, 25th November, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and 10th December, Human Rights Day, are known as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, a time to galvanise action and campaign to end violence against women and girls across the globe.

This year we are bringing awareness to the topic of VAW by highlighting crucial actions that have unfolded over the course of 2019, and we begin with a big step taken to improve the assessment and management of risk in cases of intimate partner violence (IPV).

On average, one woman a day was killed by an intimate partner or family member in the EU in 2016. In Cyprus over the last 19 years, over 37 women and girls have been killed by men in the context of gender-based violence against women, the majority of which were cases known to the police or other state services.

Risk assessment (RA) procedures and risk management (RM) strategies are therefore a crucial part of a system-wide response to IPV and keeping women and children safe. RA and RM are also clearly mandated under both the Istanbul Convention (art 51) as well as the Victims’ Rights Directive, both of which are in force in Cyprus.

On the 18 th of November the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) announced the publication of its risk assessment guide, which has been specifically designed to help the police prevent repeated and lethal acts of IPV and save lives. We’re proud to have been partners to this project: Director Susana Pavlou co-authored the guide together with IRS.

One of the innovative aspects of the guide is the multi-agency approach to risk assessment, showing how the police, justice and health sectors can work together to ensure that victims of intimate partner violence have access to essential and life-saving public services.

We urge the Cyprus police and other relevant stakeholders in the health, social welfare, and justice sectors to take these recommendations on board to develop more effective responses in preventing intimate partner violence and femicide in Cyprus.

The EIGE guide for risk assessment and risk management can be found here.