Get educated on common topics!
Written content and resources to raise awareness/inform about facts and issues around different types of violence in Greece
SCROLL TO KNOW MORE
This page is dedicated to raising awareness and providing information to those affected by gender-based violence. This page features information on the various forms of violence, including sexual abuse, domestic violence, psychological violence, verbal violence, physical violence and workplace violence. We strive to create a safe space to those looking to educate themselves on these important issues.
What is gender-based violence?
Gender-Based violence refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful (cultural) norms.
Gender-based violence can include sexual, physical, mental and social-economic harm inflicted in public or in private. It also includes threats of violence, coercion and manipulation. This can take many forms such as intimate partner (domestic) violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour crimes’.
While gender-based violence can be directed towards all binary and non-binary genders, women are disproportionalty affected. In the European Union, it is estimated that one in three women will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime; One in two women has experienced sexual harassment; one in twenty women has been raped and one in 5 women has been stalked.
Sources: UNHCR, European Institute on Gender Equality
Gender-based violence in Greece
Unfortunately, gender-based violence (GBV) is also a problem in Greece. Here are some facts and figures about the phenomenon in this country. Keep in mind: As with every kind of data, statistics that are based upon information that is made available through reporting measures, is unfortunaltely limited - especially data related to sexual and intimate-partner violence, as victims often feel ashamed to share what has happened to them. So, whenever you see reports or new data being published around GBV, you can be sure that real numbers are much higher. In any case, we are grateful that numbers from official and state sources exist, as they give us at least an estimate about the size of the problem.
According to a research, 65%- 85% of women in Greece experience sexual harassment.
One big part of the issue is that 90% of victims do not trust the Greek legal system and never report their assaults.
Of officially reported claims to police and state agencies, domestic violence cases have quadrupled during the pandemic years of 2020-2021 in Greece. Sadly, 12 women even lost their lives through the hands of their partner in 2021.
If you are in danger or someone who is make sure to call the Hellenic Police through 100 or the Government’s Council Phone for domestic violence 15900.
- CNN: 65% of women are victims of sexual harassment or abuse
- The Guardian: Greek minister urges victims to ‘speak up’ amid wave of domestic violence
- Hellenic Police
- Pro Rata Research
What is sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse or sexual violence is any sexual act or attempted sexual act by force or coercion, acts of trafficking or acts directed against a person's sexuality without his or her consent. Any such action deprives every person of the individual right to sexual self-determination and constitutes an abuse of right and power. If you have experienced sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape, please book a meeting with our psychologists and lawyers who will assist you in understanding your options.
What is sexual harassment?
Any form of harassment is usually degrading and threatens the physical and mental integrity of a person. Sexual harassment is any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Sexual harassment includes verbal and non-verbal cues as well as physical touch.
Verbal examples of sexual harassment may include:
- making sexual comments about a person’s body or about a situation where the person was involved,
- asking about sexual fantasies, preferences or history,
- asking personal questions about someone’s social or sex life,
- making sexual comments about a person’s clothing, anatomy, or looks,
- repeatedly trying to date a person who is not interested,
- telling lies or spreading rumours about a person’s sex life or sexual preferences
Non-verbal harassment includes:
- looking a person up and down (‘elevator eyes’),
- following or stalking someone,
- using sexually suggestive visuals,
- making sexual gestures with the hands or through body movements,
- using facial expressions such as winking, throwing kisses, or licking lips
Instances of physical harassment include:
- giving someone a massage around the neck or shoulders,
- touching another person’s clothing, hair, or body, hugging, kissing, patting, touching or rubbing oneself sexually against another person.
The key principle in understanding harassment is that any overtures that are unwelcome and without the consent of the other person. A person may welcome and accept a sexist remark or a comment about their body, but this is likely to depend on the particular situation and circumstances. However, even if someone accepts – or welcomes – the behaviour, or at least does not verbally object or call out the behaviour it may still be degrading and humiliating.
How do we know if a person accepts the behavior? If the person does not actively engage, confirm or positively react to a sexual remark/act, we should expect the person to disagree with behaviour. More importantly, often the acceptance of harassment is not really voluntary but rather a result of often invisible pressure, power relations within the situation or a dependency on the harasser. For example: an employee who is being harassed by their supervisor but fears about their job, if they report the incident. In other cases it may be a teacher or professor harassing a student, who needs good grades to pass the exam and therefore feels she has to accept unwanted behavior. All cases that remain unreported or not addressed, are often out of a combination of fear of losing something important (a job, an exam, a social status, a friendship etc.).
Read more about sexual harassment and what to do here.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is the most complex form of abuse, as it combines many forms and is usually difficult to identify from the outside. Domestic violence is aimed at exerting full control by the perpetrator over the victims’ integrity, their bodies and their lives. As the term suggests, it happens in the domestic context, either with an intimate partner, or within families, parents acting abusive towards their children.
Domestic abuse is often considered to be like a down-ward spiral, a vicious cycle, and as it targets the self-esteem of the victim. Domestic violence usually starts with psychological abuse, and then slowly begins to affect the victim’s physical integrity. With every new physical attack and as soon as the perpetrator also takes control over the socio-economic aspects of the victim’s lives, it becomes ever more difficult for victims to leave the relationship with their partner or the family context. Domestic violence is not a singular incident but happens repetitively, and as it is usually based on the emotional and (not at least) physical and/or financial dependence of the victim, happens to remain undetected for a long time for outsiders - and due to a complex combination of shame, dependence and guilt, ever more difficult for the victim to leave this situation. This form of abuse can therefore lead to severe physical and mental suffering, injuries, and even - tragically - death.
If you feel you may be experiencing domestic abuse, or know someone in this situation, please book a meeting with our psychologists and lawyers who will assist you in understanding your options.
Take the test: Am I a victim of domestic abuse?
- Are you afraid for your physical integrity and your life or your kids’ lives?
- Do you feel that your partner does not love and respect you?
- Do you feel that you are losing your dignity?
- Are you scared whenever you come into conflict with your partner?
- Are you afraid that abandoning your partner will endanger your own life and that of your children?
- Are you isolated from your social environment because of your partner?
- Have you been seeing yourself canceling appointments or meetings with friends because of pressure from your partner or issues at home?
- Do you feel that your partner treats you with contempt and insults?
- Do you think that your partner is depriving you of your freedoms?
- Has your partner become physically violent to you?
If you answered one or more questions with yes, please book a meeting with our psychologists and lawyers who will assist you in understanding your options.
If you are in immediate danger please call 100 (Hellenic Police).
What is psychological violence?
This is the form of violence with which the phenomenon of domestic violence very often begins. Psychological abuse includes swearing, insults (verbal violence), humiliation, and insinuations that harm the dignity and integrity of a person. The perpetrator often uses threats and intimidation as a means of exercising control, and often creates scenes of jealousy. Frequently, they also exercise systematic control over the social life of the victim in order to isolate them, for example: checking the victim’s phone regularly; double-checking with whom they are, if not with them; not leaving the victim go out on their own, talking badly about their friends and social activities.
Socio-economic violence means financial deprivation and manipulation of the other person through money or other material goods, e.g. controlling the other's finances in a domineering and degrading way, not allowing access to joint or shared income or using money to blackmail the other. It also includes the deprivation of the other's right to financial autonomy - for example not allowing the other to work, or deliberately depriving the other of financial support. Socio-economic violence happens more frequently in cases where one partner or parent is not working, and instead fully taking care of the household and/or the children’s upbringing. Financially, this puts the breadwinner in a power-position that is easily to be abused and forces the dependent partner to start begging for financial support.
What is verbal violence?
Verbal violence, or verbal abuse, involves a relatively wide range of behaviors, such as bullying, accusations, sabotage, verbal threats, or excessive criticism. It can happen in real life but also online. Verbal abuse is not limited to the domestic context. Increasingly, hate speech and verbal abuse happens online. All major social media platforms have developed reporting mechanisms to protect the targeted. If you are experiencing hate speech in a virtual context please report the person on the relevant platform.
Reporting abuse on Facebook
Reporting abuse on Twitter
Reporting abuse on Instagram
What is physical violence?
Physical violence is defined as any violent act with the intention of causing pain or injury. It ranges from violent repulsion, slapping with the hands, pushing and pulling the others limbs or body, squeezing the neck, to attacks and hitting with objects or weapons, culminating in the attempted murder. Physical violence happens frequently in intimate-partner relationships and is one constant element of domestic abuse, but happens outside of the domestic context as well.
If you are experiencing or witnessing physical violence in the public, work environment or educational setting please immediately report to the relevant authorities. If you do not feel comfortable reporting, please get in touch with us here.