The Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies participated for a second year as a partner in the project entitled “Prevention of violence against girls and women in patriarchal families”. This project has been running since January 2003 and will officially end in December 2005. The project is coordinated by Kvinnoforum, an organization in Sweden, and is funded by the European Commission under the framework of the Transnational Exchange Programme Phase II.

The aim of the project was the prevention of violence against girls, women and boys in patriarchal families. The project is now at the end of the second Phase, whose main features were:

– To facilitate and speed up the exchange of learning concerning HRV (Honour Related Violence), through a mapping of existing support and best practice in participating countries, plus conferences and trainings;

– To develop methods of cross-sectoral cooperation on national and international level for relevant actors. These methods could also be used in other areas in the European work against poverty and social exclusion;

– To place special focus on the work amongst the police.

The Institute committed itself to carrying out a survey of the current services and practices available throughout Cyprus to victims of honour-related violence. The resulting report produced a mapping of these services as well as examples of good practice and became part of an exchange procedure between the participating countries on best practices in handling this kind of violence and injustice against the vulnerable members of our society. As a result of this exchange a report was published entitled “Honour Related Violence – European Resource Book and Good Practice”.

MIGS also organised two one-day national training seminars on honour-related violence entitled “Preventing violence against women and girls in patriarchal families” on 19th May 2005 and on 3rd November 2005. The first national training was designed for NGOs and other frontline staff such as social workers, psychologists, counsellors etc. The seminar focused on honour-related violence, its occurrence in Cyprus, and how frontline staff can identify and approach the problem. The results of a survey carried out by MIGS on current services and practices available to victims of honour-related violence throughout Cyprus were presented to the participants. Eighteen participants attended the training seminar and the group was made up of individual social workers/psychologists, representatives from the Centre for the Prevention of Domestic Violence in Cyprus, representatives from the Family Planning Clinic, a civil affairs officer from UNFICYP and a few MA Psychology students.