Claims that MPs beat their wives

A female MP and the wives of two deputies have been cared for in a shelter for battered women because they were in fear of their lives after bouts of domestic violence, the center’s director claimed during an address to a parliamentary committee yesterday. «I am not just talking about a slap. They came to us to disappear for a few days so they would not be killed,» alleged Irini Dorkofiki, who runs the Shelter for Abused Women and Family Protection, operating under the auspices of the Archbishopric of Athens since 1999. She did not name the women involved but said they came to the center two years ago. Responding to the accusations, PASOK deputy Andreas Loverdos said that anyone responsible for such an act should be ashamed of themselves. Dorkofiki was addressing a group of MPs sitting on a cross-party commission examining equality and human rights issues and pleaded with them to tighten up the law on domestic abuse as soon as possible. The deputies agreed that the creation of a single body was needed for women to turn to in such cases and some MPs suggested a change in legislation so that harsher penalties are imposed on wife beaters. Dorkofiki also claimed that the wives of several top doctors and lawyers had also contacted the refuge because they were being abused by their husbands. «Recent research has shown that violence is more frequent in the families of doctors and lawyers than in the families of workers or drug addicts,» Dorkofikis told Kathimerini after her speech.