ATHENS – Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the victims should come forward and not suffer in silence.
Talking to one – the encounter posted on his X social media account – he said that, “We are talking about abuse. About how a woman experiences it, and how she manages to escape. But also for the state’s tools to help the victim get out of the cycle of violence.”
Greece in recent years had seen a rash of cases of femicide in which abuse was taken to the limit or murder, and claims that that only 5 percent of rape cases are reported in other types of violence against women.
A victim of domestic violence told him that what happened to her and others wasn’t a secret. “Everyone knew, they had seen incidents, they had seen us rush to the hospital with bruises, with blood, with burns, they had seen me sleeping outside the house, sitting on the stairs and crying, so I wasn’t afraid of the stigma.”
When he asked if anyone who suspected or witnessed the abuse tried to help, she responded: “No one did that, and in fact there were situations where when the kids started school, there were parents from the neighborhood who asked that their kids not even be (in the same class) with my kids.”
She said she didn’t get up the courage to leave until going to support groups for victims of domestic abuse. “When I took legal action, that’s when everything changed,” she added.
While the government has put some programs in place she said that police officers, teachers and doctors should have more training to encourage victims to speak out.
“One word can drive you away,” the woman said about the victims, adding that for witnesses, “silence is complicity,” with Mitsotakis urging them not to let it be that way.