It’s important to take into account that domestic violence is a serious criminal offence punishable with very strict penalties according to Greek law (law 3500/2006 and the Penal Code).
The crimes subjected to punishment are bodily harm (punishment from 1 to 15 years), causing fear or distress by threatening the victim to act violently or to undertake an unlawful act or omission (misdemeanor), the insult to sexual dignity using humiliating speech or actions (up to 2 years), the threat of a witness or member of the family, in order to prevent the administration of justice (penalty ranges from 3 months to 3 years).
Moreover, rape –and marital rape- is punishable with imprisonment from 5 to 15 years according to the Criminal Code.
In practice, however, criminal prosecution is not based on the complaint or testimony of witnesses alone; it is important for complainants to file a complaint at the Prosecutor’s office or the police. Only then it is certain that the process will be initiated.
Last but not least, providing that this is an ex-officio prosecuted crime, you should know that once a case is filed, the process cannot be ceased.
Through experience we know that quite often the victims are discouraged by the police authorities: «Go home», «get along with him», «don’t you care about your children?», «you’ll get into trouble», are some of the most stereotypical phrases you may hear.
In this case, you should insist and the police are obliged to accept your complaint as -according to Law 3500/2006 and the Penal Code- domestic violence is an ex-officio prosecuted offense. If you still face issues, call your lawyer or 15900 to mediate and inform the police.
Last but not least, if you are injured, the police should send you to a medical examiner. If not, ask for it. Do not forget to ask for a copy of the medical examination afterwards.
If you feel that you, your children, or any other person close to you are in danger, ask from the Court the taking of precautionary measures, which include: relocation of the perpetrator, prohibition of access to your residence, work, etc. Violating precautionary measures can result in arrest and/or a fine.
In case you cannot afford a lawyer, you may address to a Counseling Centre to seek information about the process you should follow in order to be provided with a legal adviser free of charge.
And do not forget:
No perpetrator is omnipotent. No victim is weak.