Frequently asked questions & answers / FAQs

Instructions for immediate or imminent danger

In case you are facing a violent incident and your physical integrity is at risk (or that of a member of your family), do not hesitate to abandon the house and call the Police (100) and/or reach the nearest Police Station. Protecting your physical integrity is always the priority.

If you can’t call the police, you have the option to send a text (SMS) to the police (100) making sure you mention

  • a) your address,
  • b) your name and
  • c) the type of threat (eg. “my life is in danger”, “my husband is violent” etc.)

If, for any reason, you can’t reach the authorities by yourself, ask a person of trust to reach the authorities for you (eg. a family member, a friend or your doctor).

In case you are being subjected by your partner to any form of abusive behavior and wish to ask for help, you can contact the SOS Hotline 15900 (operates 24/7 throughout the year) and/or the nearest Counselling Centre in order to be provided with all necessary information and support. For more information, please see:

A temporary solution is an accommodation in a shelter. The address of the shelters is classified. You will have to contact SOS Hotline 15900 or a Counselling Centre where you will receive support and instructions and, if necessary, you will be referred to a shelter.

If you think that there is an immediate threat, please call the police (100) and report the incident. You have the right to do so anonymously.
You can also file a report to the Prosecutor’s Office.
If the incident concerns a minor you can also address the organization “The Smile of Child” and/or call the Children SOS Hotline 1056. You have the right to do so anonymously.

The personal escape plan is the plan that you have developed and you will follow in case of a violent incident, in order to escape from your house fast and safely. Train yourself in safe escape. Try to recall in your memory your personal escape plan as often as you can, in order to be ready in case of a violent incident.

  • Always have your cellphone on you.
  • Make sure you have easy and immediate access to your identity documents (ID, passport, driver’s license) and banking documents. Always have copies separated from the original documents hidden in a different room (preferably in the room described below)
  • Make sure that you have located a room in the house that locks from the inside and provides access to a telephone and an exit.
  • Make sure that you have memorized important telephone numbers such as Police (100), SOS Hotline (15900), Medical Help (166) as well as the telephone numbers of persons you trust and, in case of an emergency, you can reach directly.
  • If you have neighbors that you trust, let them know of the problems you are facing. Ask them to call the police in case it comes to their attention that you are in danger.
  • Make sure that you invent a secret word or phrase which you will share with you children/relatives/friends and/or neighbors that means that you are in danger and they should call the Police.
  • Make sure that you have taught your children not to get in the middle of a violent outbreak or incident and how to call the police in case of an emergency. Explain to them which information they should provide to the Police (full name, address, telephone number)
  • Make sure that you have prepared an emergency suitcase for you and your children with all the necessary documents, money, spare keys, one or two of your favorite items etc. and that you have hidden it in a secret but easily accessible space/location where you can get it from in case of escaping. Ideally you can leave the suitcase with a trusted person (eg. a good friend).
  • Ensure that you have thought of and prepared a temporary solution of accommodation in case you need to escape from your house. In case you choose to stay with a relative or a friend, ideally select a person that the perpetrator doesn’t know.
  • After you escape from the house, turn off your cell phone as well as the location services or anything relevant that would give up your location. If you are able to purchase a new number, do so.

What are your rights?

Domestic violence is a crime and is punished by L. 3500/2006

Yes, you have the right to use part or all of this money which is available in the banking account. This money is yours (too).

If you feel that you and/or your children are in danger, you have the right to leave the house with your kids without facing any disciplinary actions. Furthermore, you can address the Police, the Prosecutor’s office, the Counselling Centers etc. for further actions.

As a domestic violence survivor, you have the right to receive hospital care and to report the incident to the authorities, regardless of your legal status in the country. The authorities do not have the right to enforce any disciplinary actions to you such as deportation for as long as your case is being examined,  (L. 4531/2018).
You do have the right to hospital care in any case, regardless if the form of GBV(physical/sexual violence) you have suffered falls into the category of the domestic violence offense.

Services supporting survivors of gender-based violence

SOS Hotline – 15900 is a service which offers GBV survivors and other interested persons information and communication with specialized staff (psychologists, sociologists) that can provide help, support and advice regarding emergent incidents of violence 24/7 throughout the year. It should be noted that the option of interpretation in various languages is available.  Furthermore, the option of online communication via e-mail ([email protected]) is also available.

Counseling Centers offer free services to the women who seek help. The services include:

  • information regarding gender equality, response to violence and discrimination against women
  • social, psychological, legal and job counseling and support
  • referral and/or escorting (when necessary) to shelters, hospitals, the authorities etc.
  • legal aid in collaboration with Bar Associations

Counseling centers are located in Athens (Syntagma, Omonia), Piraeus, Ioannina, Helaklio (Crete), Thessaloniki, Kerkira, Kozani, Komotini, Lamia, Larissa, Lesvos, Patra, Syros and Tripoli. You can also find a Counselling Center through the Municipalities of: Alaxandoypoli, Arta, Veria, Elefsina, Zakynthos, Thiva, Kavala, Kalamata, Karditsa, Kefallonia, Kastoria, Katerini, Keratsini-Drapetsona, Corinthos, Kos, Peristeri, Preveza, Pyrgos, Rethimni, Rhodes, Serres, Trikala, Florina, Filis, Chalandri, Chalkida and Chios.
For more information, please see:

The Diotima Centre offers the following services to survivors of domestic violence who reside in Athens, regardless of their nationality:

  • free legal aid and representation to the court
  • free psychosocial support

The Diotima Centre offers the following services to refugee GBV survivors (any kind of GBV) who reside Athens, Thessaloniki and Lesvos:

  • free legal aid and representation to the court
  • free psychosocial support

free participation in empowerment groups

* Please note that the available services are subject to change from period to period as their availability depends on existing funding and programmes

Coronavirus and gender-based violence

In case of a violent incident in which your physical integrity might be in danger, do not hesitate to abandon the house and call the police and/or to turn to the nearest police station.
Protecting your physical integrity is always the priority.

Yes, you have the right to turn to the nearest police station and report the incident without facing any disciplinary actions.

An increase of domestic violence cases has been observed during quarantine as various exogenous factors intensify the perpetrator’s violent characteristics.
However, violent outbreaks are not caused by the quarantine per se, but rather the quarantine is a factor that can deteriorate the situation and it is highly probable that the violent outbreaks will not end with the expiration of the lockdown.

This period the courts are closed due to the emergent situation of the coronavirus. This will cause delays in the examination of some cases.
However, emergent cases are examined and taken by Diotima’s legal aid team.

Due to the emergent situation part of Diotima’s staff is working remotely. However, we do our best to provide our services online, where possible.  You can reach us through the following phone numbers: Athens: 210-3244380, Thessaloniki: 2310-534445, Lesvos: 22510-24730.


Women who experience gender-based violence need your support