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The inauguration of the centre took place on 14 December, Source: Kostas Bakoyannis on Facebook

Athens inaugurates centre for victims of gender-based violence and discrimination

Athens inaugurates centre for victims of gender-based violence and discrimination

The capital seeks to empower women and encourage victims to speak up

On 14 December, the Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and the Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis officially inaugurated the Centre for Combating Gender-Based Violence and Multiple Discrimination. The establishment of this centre comes after the country witnessed an uptick in gender-based and domestic violence.

The new centre will provide free services to all adults who have been victims of any form of violence (psychological, physical, sexual, etc.) or discrimination. In other words, its doors will be open to everyone, from women to refugees and disabled individuals.

Breaking the silence

In a press release, President Sakellaropoulou commented on the surge in violence-related incidents, noting that they are the result of the challenging times in which we live. More specifically, she shared that the outbreak of the pandemic, the subsequent feelings of uncertainty, and the financial hardships have created explosive conditions.

Taking this further, she revealed that the women who are victims of gender-based or domestic violence often suffer in silence. That is, rather than reporting their abuse, many use social norms to justify it, pointing to patriarchal structures and outdated gender norms.

With the creation of the new centre, President Sakellaropoulou noted, the Municipality of Athens is encouraging victims of violence to speak up and break the silence.

What services will the centre provide?

At the centre, specialists will provide social, psychological, and legal counselling to everyone in need. In addition to this, they will take initiative and refer victims to hospitals, hostels, authorities, or other relevant organisations and establishments. After this, the centre’s staff will help people regain control of their lives by assisting them in entering the labour market, if necessary.

Beyond inaugurating the centre, the Mayor of Athens also revealed that the municipality has introduced the country’s first deputy mayor for equality, discrimination, and gender-based policies. With these actions, the Greek capital hopes to empower women and break down stereotypes that result in violence.

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