Greek gov't calls on domestic violence victims to speak up, as reported cases rise

2021-11-25 22:05:41 GMT2021-11-26 06:05:41(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ATHENS, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Greek government launched a new public awareness campaign urging victims of domestic violence to speak up on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which falls on Nov. 25 each year.

"We must all act to put an end to violence and abuse forever," Labor and Social Affairs deputy minister Maria Syrengela told a recent press briefing presenting the information campaign.

A support network exists to help victims move forward, she stressed. There are 43 counselling centers and 19 shelters operating nationwide, where victims and their children are offered psychological and legal aid.

There is also a 24/7 helpline, which in the first ten months of 2021 received 7,809 calls, including 3,182 calls for domestic violence, Syrengela said.

During the same period 4,449 victims and third parties went to the counselling centers, and 175 women were accommodated in the shelters.

In 2020, a total of 4,264 reports of domestic violence were made to the Greek authorities, according to a ministry report released on Thursday, while in 2010 a total of 1,303 cases of domestic violence were reported.

Complaints increased during or after the end of the pandemic lockdowns, she said. They also tend to increase during holiday seasons, when couples spend more time at home, and during or after awareness campaigns.

The 16 percent of women who went to counselling centers were foreign nationals, and 70 percent of the victims were graduates of secondary or tertiary education, official figures show. Enditem