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Unprecedented case of abuse of 5 children and domestic violence in Athens

The father of five minors would force them to dig a land plot for no obvious reason. He would leave them without food. He would force them to meditation telling them it would help them be obedient and avoid being beaten. He would not allow them to make friends with other children. A hell of a life for four boys and one girl, aged 9-17.

The case of domestic violence and child abuse, unprecedented for Greece, came to surface when the two older children, 14 and 17 years old, made their ‘revolution” against their tyrant. After an incident where the father threatened them with a knife. They reportedly “jumped from the window of the one story home and rushed to school where they briefed the principal about their situation.” She informed the authorities.

The family has been living in Agios Dimitros suburb of south Athens, where she moved six years ago. It previously lived in a trailer in a land plot, owned by the father, then they moved in a house in the area.

The father used to beat also his wife and did not allow her to get a job as a cleaner at the municipality, writes protothema.gr writes in its exclusive report citing neighbors and children’s friends.

Based on the report, the children must have been living living a hell on earth in a household without obvious source of income under miserable conditions which could be described as those of “stone age.”

They would drink water from the garden well and also bath in this water. They had no heating apart from an old water boiler transformed into a makeshift brazer where they would burn wood branches they would collect in the area.here is to note that Agios Dimitriso suburb is located along the Pikrodafni stream that ends in Palaio Faliro and the area has still a lot of water wells as well as lots of trees and green.

They often had no electricity, apparently due to outstanding debts.

The children would go to school in “dirty and scruffy appearance and the teachers complained about their smell.”

Neighbors seem to knew a lot of details about the living circumstances of the family even their  food habits. “The father belonged to a kind of  religious sect, would not allow them to eat meat and eggs.”

All the children and the mother were exposed to the father’s violent outbursts on permanent basis.

Neighbors used to supply the family with coupons from the supermarket.

Also children’s friends spoke about the extreme situations the family was living in.

Last week, the two older children told the father they would go to police and close him in jail, if he would continue to abuse them. He grabbed a knife and threatens them saying he would kill them and then commit suicide, whereupon the children fled through the window.

The father has been reportedly arrested and is hospitalized in the psychiatric clinic of a public hospital in Athens.

The mother had reportedly fled fearing she would be arrested as well.

The children have been taken care of in a children hospital.

The Greek society is shocked as it is used to hear about similar stories of child abuse and domestic violence of such extend in media reports coming from the USA.

But a part of the society is also shocked that although neighbors knew about the situation, and teachers could suggest that there was something wrong with these children, nobody had the courage to go to police.

Some comment of social media that it is not easy to make such denouncements to police, especially when claiming anonymity. Or that some would be afraid of reprisals.

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2 comments

  1. Hecataeus Miletus

    Yes, in the USA, the reason we see so many cases is that people report them many times. And in the USA, just an anoymous phone call to the police without even giving your name makes the police respond. Maybe just a simple change in the Greek law to allow people to make anonymous calls to police? It does not seem unreasonable to me.

  2. What about the old saying: Religion keeps the family together? Poppycock! More like it makes the brain weaker.