National Gambling Authority launches prevention and empowerment program for women gambling
With the aim of empowering women and managing behaviors related to betting and games of chance, the National Betting Authority (EAS), the Cyprus Addictions Authority (AAEK) and the Association for the Prevention and Treatment of Violence in the Family (SPAVO ) (hereinafter the “partners”) announce the launch of the “Women and Gaming: Empowering Women, Bridging the Gap” program.
Based on data at an international level, there is an increasing trend in the participation of women in betting and gambling with a consequent increase in problematic behaviors related to this activity. Additionally, according to recent research conducted by EAS, 9 out of 10 women have gambled at some point in their lives and 3 out of 10 female players admit to having people in their lives who are (or have been) with a gambling addiction problem. Vulnerability is an aggravating factor for the appearance of problem behaviors related to gambling and gambling, as women who display problem behavior or gambling disorder report significantly more often anxiety and depression disorders, personality disorders, alcohol abuse disorders and are more likely to have been abused than men with similar disorders. Therefore, domestic and gender-based violence is associated with the emergence of problematic gambling and gambling disorders.
The implementation of programs and interventions by the relevant agencies becomes essential, as they can empower the most vulnerable women and encourage the early detection and management of problem behaviors and gambling disorders among them. In this context, the partners proceeded to design a program which includes, among other things, practical tools and actions for early intervention and identification of vulnerable women and their referral to the competent services of the Republic. Women and young girls who are served in family and child support structures and programs and in structures dealing with incidents of violence, are the target group that will be implemented by the partners' program in question. The aim is the more effective identification and timely access of affected women to the appropriate support or treatment structures.
The President of EAS, Mrs. Ioanna Fiakkou stated that “By developing such initiatives and programs with important partners such as AAEK and SPAVO, we are able as a state to provide specialized intervention services to vulnerable groups, for example women who are served by structures e.g. SPAVO. Through this collaboration and the concerted effort of partners, appropriate mechanisms will be developed to empower women and especially the vulnerable, as well as we will be able to more effectively and holistically manage the cases of women with gambling disorders, so that to achieve our long-term goals for the protection of society as a whole”.
For his part, the President of AAEK, Dr. Christos Minas, underlined that, “AAEK is always in the process of identifying possible synergies and collaborations as the treatment of addictions is a collective matter.
The creation of a protocol for identifying and referring to appropriate support services women who present problematic dealing with games of chance, is a good practice which we aspire to see expanded to other sectors after a successful implementation in SPAVO's hospitality structures”.
Finally, the Scientific Director of SPAVO, Ms. Andri Andronikou noted that “This collaboration is of outstanding importance for SPAVO since for the first time in Cyprus both the research recording of the correlation between gambling and female victims of domestic and gender-based violence is being attempted as well as the creation of mechanisms to manage these cases both in support of professionals as well as to ensure better quality and more substantial interventions for the women themselves who face these difficulties. In addition, the allocation of funds to carry out such projects that include the gender dimension as a priority demonstrate and give even greater value to the importance of their implementation in terms of ensuring gender equality”.
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