Domestic violence in Greece sharply increased during the 43 days of lockdown in March and April and victims did not hesitate to call the SOS hotline 15900 to seek help. According to data collected from the General Secretariat for Family Policy and Gender Equality, calls to the SOS hotline quadrupled in April and reached 1,769 when compared to previous months.
According to the General Secretariat, the number of calls to report violence reached 1,070 in April and calls in March, where lockdown was imposed on 23rd, reached 325. Calls for domestic violence in April reached 648 and 166 in March.
Seven out of ten cases of violence were reported by the victims themselves and three out of ten were reported by third parties, such as parents, children, siblings, neighbors and friends.
“It is clear that the information campaign in support of women victims of violence has motivated beneficiaries, as well as third parties, to contact the SOS line and report incidents of violence,” said the Secretary-General for Family Policy and Gender Equality, Maria Syrangela.
She emphasized that nine out of ten people who called the SOS hotline dared for the first time to report an he incident of violence and to seek support.
Majority of the victims were spouses, 485 calls (61%). 10% of violence reports involved children (77 cases), 8% involved ex-spouses (56 cases), while 9% involved violence against parents and siblings (67 cases)
According to experts, at times when the couple spends more time together, incidents of violence increase. This is due to the fact that both spouses or partners share extra time together and friction will bring to the surface faster and easier behaviors that involve violence, of any kind. “It is extremely important, however, to know that a man who is not violent will not suddenly become, because of a difficult situation he may face. He may become more aggressive with more frequent outbursts of aggressive behavior, the man who has already chosen this way to relate to his wife or partner “, it is pointed out in a relevant announcement.
Based on age criteria, the majority of the group that called the SOS phone line was 40-54 (27%), followed by age group 25-39 (18%).
52% of the callers were married, 62% had children and 21% were employed.
40% of the callers wanted psycho-social support and 36% legal advice and help.
41 calls concerned requests in hosting facilities.
In 15 cases measures were taken and domestic violence victims, spouses and their children, were immediately removed from the house that had turned into a nightmare prison during the lockdown.