For Konstantina, Caroline, Garyfallia, Dora

For Konstantina, Caroline, Garyfallia, Dora

The perpetrator’s violent past is admitted after the crime: beatings, threats, use of weapons, uncontrollable behavior, incidents that often herald the tragic finale.

The 11 femicides that have been recorded in our country so far this year, with the most recent being the murder of a 32-year-old teacher in Rhodes by her former partner, demand changes – and not only in the penal code.

The sentences handed out to the guilty may become more severe; but how should the silence of the family, the indifference or the delayed reactions be handled?

The SOS 15900 hotline for incidents of gender-based and domestic violence received more than 4,000 calls in the first half of 2021. What keeps women trapped in abusive marriages or relationships is an extremely complex problem that, not infrequently, is “solved” in a tragic way. There comes a time when the Gordian knots, which are directly linked to the mentalities and ways of raising men and women, turn into a noose.

The process of change in society, the family and human nature may be labyrinthine and time-consuming, but changes in politics are clear and real. Senior party members consider it their duty to say something when an event with a high emotional load hits the news and affects society. As a rule, they say something about the opposing party, not the issue itself.

Like SYRIZA’s shadow citizen protection minister Christos Spirtzis, for example, who after the murder in Rhodes hurried to post a comment on the “insecurity that pervades the souls of our fellow citizens,” with the following conclusion: “How many more women must be sacrificed for them to realize that [Prime Minister] Mitsotakis’ policy must change?” The reactions that followed were widely expected, just like the criticism, anger and ridicule with which the internet greeted the post. Even people within Spirtzis’ own party reacted negatively.

But beyond the political reactions (the back and forth between ruling New Democracy and Spirtzis), the frightening essence remains, that if something “pervades the souls,” it is not “insecurity,” as the SYRIZA lawmaker claimed, but extreme populism, endless nonsense, impenetrable cynicism and partisan criticism expressed with “flags of convenience.” Perhaps, individually, they can be treated. But what happens when they all converge?

This remains to be seen.

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