Communication Strategies and Practices

Cyprus: No Violence against Women

This campaign develops and implements communication and information activities and training for professionals from different disciplines aiming to end violence against women and girls in Cyprus


This campaign was developed together with Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS), Cyprus Academy of Public Administration (CAPA) and Advisory Committee for the Prevention & Combating of Violence in the Family (ACPCVF).

During this campaign, they developed and implemented a coordinated and targeted national media campaign on VAW, using diverse communication tools. More specifically the media campaign aims to spread a clear message on zero tolerance for VAW, eliminate gender stereotypes and challenge socio-cultural attitudes that render violent behaviour acceptable, by targeting specifically men and boys (age 10+).
They produced: 4 TV spots, 3 Radio spots, 3 print ads (2 newspaper/website and 1 outdoor), covering thematically different forms of VAW. (All spots can be found on the facebook page.)

Furthermore, they organised and delivered trainings to key professionals, mainly public officers, dealing with VAW, as well as NGOs on women’s rights. The objective of the trainings was to raise awareness and knowledge of these professionals on the issue of VAW, their ability to respond to the needs of the victims, as well as to promote inter-agency cooperation and collaboration with relevant NGOs. The trainings cover the relevant legal framework but also issues related to perceptions and attitudes to VAW, different forms of VAW, gender stereotypes and women’s rights.

To achieve the above objectives the following seminars are/were organized:

  • seven thematically specialized training seminars, to seven key target groups involved in the prevention, persecution and combating of VAW, (namely: educators, health professionals-doctors , nurses, psychologists, policemen, law professionals-practising lawyers, social workers and immigration and labour officers dealing with immigrant women, and media professionals).
  • interdisciplinary seminars, to professionals of various public services involved in VAW, as well as relevant NGOs, so as to promote inter-agency understanding and cooperation.
  • “training of trainers” seminars, to different disciplines (namely: health professionals, social workers, police officers, and educators). The trainers will be responsible to later train other officers in the respective organizations.
  • One training to an “executive team” of senior officials/officers from other relevant bodies/actors (Ombudsman’s office, National Machinery for Women’s Rights, Commissioner for the Rights of the Child, key target groups and also policy makers).

Social Context

A series of evaluations and studies have repeatedly identified the need for awareness raising and specialised training for professionals working in the area of violence against women (VAW).

The above mentioned studies have also shown that professionals’ perceptions and attitudes in the area of VAW often render them unable to recognize, evaluate and respond appropriately to VAW. More specifically, the study carried out by the Mediterranean Institute for Gender Studies (MIGS, 2010) revealed a lack of gender perspective in service provision for victims of violence, and identified the need for systematic training on VAW and gender equality for front-line professionals as well as the judiciary. Furthermore, the study identified the need for systematic awareness-raising on all forms of VAW. The need for awareness raising and training of professionals involved in both prevention and handling of domestic violence were key issues identified in evaluations carried out for the ACPCFV (i.e.: (Apostolidou, 2005 and (Apostolidou et al., 2008).

In the report on the handling of domestic VAW in Cyprus (Action 4/2012 January 2013), the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights, in her capacity as Independent Authority on Human Rights, identified important aspects of the problem and highlighted shortcomings and deficiencies in the institutional framework for addressing cases of domestic violence against women. One such deficiency is the ineffective implementation of inter-departmental procedures for the handling of domestic violence cases and the lack of informed, trained and experienced staff in relevant governmental services.

Furthermore, the national study carried out for the Advisory Committee for the Prevention and Combating of Violence in the Family (ACPCFV) (Apostolidou et al, 2012), found that at least 28% of adult women have experienced some form of abuse, with 57% of them reporting that they did not tell anybody about their abuse, only 1/3 of them asked for help and that 1/3 had little or no knowledge of available services for the support and protection of victims of domestic violence. Of those who reported their abuse only 5% used the Hotline and only 2% reported the incident to the Police.

All the above, strongly support the design and implementation of a project aiming at awareness raising and training of professionals.

Sources of funding

  • Community Funding Programs PROGRESS


Delays occurred due to the additional procedures that needed to be done to draft the call for proposals for media companies to submit tender offers for doing the media campaign, according to the relevant EU legislation.

It was also hard to collect a sufficient number of media professionals to formulate two training seminars. it was decided to organize one instead.


An evaluation will be conducted internally by the partner organization responsible to organize and implement each activity. MIGS will conduct the evaluation of the media campaign and the trainings for media professionals, while CAPA will conduct the evaluation of the trainings to public professionals involved in VAW and NGOs. (In the case of the media campaign, the evaluation of its exposure will be based and on external Reports of media market researches).

In summary:

  • The Media campaign evaluation will be done in 3 stages:
    • Evaluation of the quality of the messages produced, before the campaign starts (by doing a pilot research with the use of focus groups)
    • Evaluation of the exposure of the campaign (by using media market researches and also a telephone research/survey).
    • Evaluation of the impact of the campaign (by doing a telephone survey on a random sample of people who will be aware of the campaign and the use of semi structured interviews).
  • The Training Seminars will be evaluated on the basis of the following: the number of trainings and the number of participants, the level of participants satisfaction (measured with evaluation questionnaires) and the level of positive attitude change of the participants on the issue of VAW (measured with questionnaires filled before and after the trainings).
  • Furthermore, the project will also be evaluated by an external evaluator.

Internal Impact on work of Equality Body

Officers of the Office had the chance to participate on combating VaW presented by distinguished trainers brought both from abroad and from Cyprus. This improved the knowledge and capacity of our staff to deal with relevant matters.

Other Relevant Information

No Violence against Women Facebook page


George Kakotas, Office of the Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman), Cyprus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *