NEWS

Mother kept children isolated for 20 years

Police on the island of Lefkada yesterday charged a woman with illegally detaining her children for the last 20 years, after neighbors asked the authorities to intervene. Sixty-five-year-old Alkmini Douvitsa, who allegedly kept her children isolated in filthy conditions at their home in the island capital’s Neapolis district, was yesterday taken to Corfu’s mental institution along with her daughter Panagiota, 45, and her son Dimitris, 48. Corfu was their final destination after examinations at the hospitals in Lefkada and Ioannina earlier yesterday where doctors stressed the whole family needed immediate psychiatric attention. Police raided Douvitsa’s home early yesterday and transferred mother and children to Lefkada hospital. The local police chief, Athanassios Yiakis, said officers had entered the home with the public prosecutor after worried neighbors, who hadn’t seen the children for years, told him drastic action was needed before something serious happens. At this point, just before the collapse, it is absolutely necessary to embark on a broad reform. Conditions dictate a transformation, and the means are there; the only thing lacking is political will.