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Defending Integrity Resisting Harassment



During the Covid-19 pandemic, incidents of gender-based violence in Cyprus increased dramatically. Only in 2020, 1,364 incidents of violence against women were recorded across the country in contrast to 580 incidents in 2018. At the same time, in a 2022 Eurobarometer survey, 83% of Cypriots believe that there was an increase in physical and emotional violence against women during the Covid period highlighting the need to develop a national strategy for an effective response to those incidents, which will not be limited to legislative resolutions but will follow a bottom-up approach, placing potential victims in a central and active role. Responding to the this need, the project set out to develop self-defense skills in women as a mechanism to address, prevent and deter incidents of gender-based violence.


The project has set out the following objectives:


  • Use of sports and martial arts, in particular, to facilitate increase of self-esteem, empowerment and enhancement of women to adequately respond to gender based violence;

  • Tackle social stereotypes regarding gender based violence;

  • Cultivate gender equality by bring both men and women together in interactive thematic workshops covering topics related to equality and violence

  • Raise awareness about the current legislation regarding gender based violence

  • Highlight the benefits of practicing sports outdoors


For the successful implementation of the project, a series of self-defense lessons exclusively offered to women will be delivered as well as thematic workshops on aspects of gender based violence and gender equality with the participation of both men and women.

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