Monday April 27, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Targeted due to their sexuality

 Second violent attack in two weeks draws attention to homophobic incidents in Athens
Victims of homophobic attacks can now discuss their experiences openly on www.pestosemas.com, an online platform set up by the Colour Youth group and funded by the Bodossaki Foundation’s ‘We Are all Citizens’ program.

By Ioanna Fotiadi

A recent outing came to a horrible end for a gay couple when they fell victim to a homophobic attack. It was 6 a.m. and the two 20-year-olds were walking to Kerameikos metro station in Gazi, one of the capital’s most popular night spots, to meet four friends, all women. “You’re in for it, you faggots!” yelled a man in another group who seemed close to their age.

“Sorry about the language. I’m just telling you what they said,” said S.T., one of the two men. Both were punched in the face, with S.T. requiring stitches near his eye and his boyfriend suffering a broken nose.

“It was one of the guys in the group who launched the attack,” the 20-year-old student told Kathimerini. “One of his friends tried to stop him, but the other two guys, as well as the girlfriend of one of them, were egging him on. The more I think about it, the more I am shocked by the girl’s attitude. Isn’t she worried that her boyfriend’s violence may not always be restricted to strangers? When I managed to open my good eye I saw him dragging my boyfriend by the hair through a pool of blood.”

S.T. and his friends called the police after being attacked.

“We waited two-and-a-half hours with three of us taking turns to call every half-hour,” said S.T. “If they had come sooner they would have caught the assailant. He stood there admiring his work for quite a while.”

According to S.T., when the police did turn up they took brief statements about the incident and advised the six youngsters to call if they ever saw the assailant again.

S.T. and his partner took themselves to the hospital, where they met up with representatives of Colour Youth, a group founded in 2012 to change negative perceptions of gay people and promote rights.

“Just a few years ago Gazi was extremely hospitable to the gay community,” said Constantinos Pantikiou, head of human resources and fundraising at Colour Youth. He said that the group has received reports of 15 serious attacks in various parts of the capital since the start of the year.

In 2013, the Racist Violence Recording Network compiled some 20-30 reports of homophobic attacks, some in busy parts of the capital such as Gazi, Exarchia and Panepistimiou metro station, as well as in other parts of the country (Ioannina, Alexandroupoli, Komotini) and especially in Thessaloniki.

“We encourage victims to report attacks but we also understand their reluctance, as any publicity could have an impact on their personal and private lives at a time when they are vulnerable,” Pantikiou noted.

An initiative by Colour Youth (www.pestosemas.com) launched in April, where victims of attacks can discuss their experiences openly, is funded by the EEA Grants Greek NGO Program "We are all Citizens." The Bodossaki Foundation is the fund operator of this program.

“We are also preparing an initiative to inform [groups such us ours] on how to work with victims in Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Patra and Iraklio, while we hope to use part of the funding we’ve received to cover the legal costs in at least 10 cases that have gone to court,” explained Pantikiou.

The website already has dozens of entries.

“The people who write to us are mainly teenagers and young people who became victims of domestic violence after coming out at home,” said Pantikiou. “Violence can be in the form of a beating or the cessation of financial assistance or even eviction from the family home.” The biggest problem in terms of the law, he added, is that victims are not considered as such if the violence comes from a parent.

S.T. gave us a brief profile of his assailant.

“From a distance he looked like the kind of macho poser you see everywhere. He didn’t look like a member of Golden Dawn, but he seemed to know martial arts,” he said, making reference to the Greek neo-Nazi party, a number of whose supporters have been implicated in homophobic attacks, including a recent assault on August 23 against two gay men in the Athenian neighborhood of Pangrati.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday September 3, 2014 (09:43)  
Our troubled democracies and how to fix them
Cyber-commuting from Petralona, Athens, to Manhattan, NYC
Consensus pulls Prespes region back from the brink
University of Piraeus tests first solar-powered electric car charging station
Strangers to Athens depict their impressions of the city
The development of modern Athens following the city’s liberation from Ottoman rule began as a reflection of neoclassicism in the eyes of the Bavarians who came to the Greek capital following...
Stathis Livathinos appointed new National Theater artistic director
Greek director Stathis Livathinos is set to become the Greek National Theatetr's new artistic director. The announcement was made on Thursday following a decision by Education, Culture and R...
Inside Life
Inside Travel
Inside Gastronomy
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Seven charged with corruption over sale of Daimler vehicles to Greek military
2. ´Frustrated´ Germany says ball is in Greece´s court
3. Italy says no «Plan B» on Greece, need quick deal on bailout
4. Greeks add pressure on Tsipras to compromise as talks resume
5. Tsipras reshuffles negotiating team after Riga debacle
6. Anastasiades says Akinci win raises hopes for reunification
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece’s day of reckoning inches closer as debt payments loom
2. Pensions will not be cut, insists social insurance chief
3. Berlin silent on content of Merkel-Tsipras chat amid claims of 'dramatic' situation
4. Anastasiades, Akinci speak and look towards fresh push in peace talks
5. ECB seen going all the way on QE as economists doubt taper
6. Two Greeks in quake-stricken Nepal reported safe
Today
This Week
1. Greek government's popularity takes a hit as talks drag on
2. Europe's collision course with Greece
3. It's up to the Greek government to ensure deal with lenders, says ECB's Coeure
4. Denialism
5. Leaving the past in the past
6. The price of compromise
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.