Greece: Around 5,000 Rapes Per Year, 97% Going Unreported

(File photo: Eurokinissi/Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS – Without enough medical examiners to certify an assault is rape, only 3 percent of attacks are being reported, officials said.

According to the General Secretariat for Gender Equality, around 5,000 rapes occur in the country every year. But only about 150 are backed up by a Medical Examiner because 30 of the country’s 51 prefectures don’t have one.

“Imagine the suffering for a rape victim… to have to travel to find a medical examiner,” Grigoris Leon, head of the Hellenic Society for Forensic Medicine, told Kathimerini.

In March this year, the Equality Now charity, in a global report on rape, said that Greece, along with Belgium and The Netherlands, were failing to adequately protect victims.

In Greece, marriage appears to be a legal remedy for “seduction” of a child, at which point criminal prosecution lapses, the report found, although the details of the law were not clear, it said.
Perpetrators escape prosecution if they marry their victim, in nine of the countries.

In four more – Russia, Greece, Serbia and Thailand – a similar outcome is possible but only if the couple are already in a relationship and if the victim is under the age of consent.

“Sexual violence will not end unless it is dealt with at every level in society as part of a concerted effort to change not only laws and policies, but also attitudes and behaviors – in public and in private,”Antonia Kirkland, head of Equality Now’s legal equality program told the British newspaper The Independent.