The Hellenic Police (ELAS) is preparing to train additional staff for its 73 regional domestic violence response units, which were created in November last year.
The move is part of a government plan to tackle domestic violence in the country and educate officers on how to handle such cases. Complaints about domestic violence are often underestimated by the authorities.
In Greece, one of the reasons for this to date was the lack of specialization. “This is exactly what the new units aim to change,” Dimitra Evangelou, an assistant professor at the Democritus University of Thrace and social policy adviser at the Civil Protection Ministry, told Kathimerini.
Evangelou says one of the aims of the new units is to improve the procedure from the first document that the victim is required to file at the police station, to helping speed up the investigation and securing a trial.
According to police data, the number of recorded domestic violence cases has been steadily rising in recent years: in 2014, there were 3,512 cases, in 2015 there were 3,572, in 2016 it was 3,838, in 2017 it was 3,930, and in 2018 they rose to 4,722.
In the period 2014-2018, 66.32 percent of the victims were women. Last year, in a total of 5,540 victims of domestic violence, 4,171 were women, while of the 5,491 perpetrators, 4,618 were men. Most of the cases are recorded in Athens.
Experts also say that victims come from all social and economic backgrounds.