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Panic Button App for Women in Greece Facing Domestic Violence

ATHENS – Greek police and offices to help women deal with domestic violence amid a rash of femicides will provide a cellphone Panic Button app that can alert authorities about an attack or trouble in the home.

The free app is downloaded on a smartphone and activates the service by pressing on a button which sends a text message (sms) to the police operational center to locate user.

It will be available as well from the Offices to Manage Domestic Violence in Athens and Thessaloniki, and counseling centers of the network under the General Secretariat of Demographic and Family Policy and Equality of the Sexes at the Labor Ministry, in Attica and Thessaloniki.

Applicants must provide personal information though that includes a numer code, social security number (AMKA), full name, cellphone number, exact address and floor, name on the home bell, history of violent incidents, indication of whether the perpetrator has a gun, indication of children and/or pregnancy of the victim, indications of a history of addictions and/or mental illness by the perpetrator, said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA and media reports.

There was no indication whether that would bring any worry about data being accessible by hackers, or if it would be stored in state data banks during ongoing concerns about state surveillance of phone users.

In January, 2022, The New York Times noted the problem of violence against women in Greece that has gone unchecked for years.

“For decades, the Greek justice system showed leniency to abusers citing ‘crimes of passion,’” Clio Papapantoleon, a prominent lawyer, told the paper then, adding she was getting a surge in requests for representation from victims of domestic violence.

The state intervened with a national video campaign in November that urged women to leave abusers and offers free emotional support and legal advice.

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