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Learn your legal rights
No one has the right to be abusive, aggressive, or violent toward you. Domestic violence is prosecuted by law 3500/2006.

No one has the right to be abusive, aggressive, or violent toward you. Your family and home should be a place of safety and care. Domestic violence is a violent crime. It is prosecuted by law 3500/2006 and the Criminal Code. The law protects you if you experience violence in a marriage, relationship, or cohabitation agreement, even if you are former or ex-spouses/live-in partners.

Below you will find some useful legal actions you can take to protect them, as well as the provisions of the law. If you feel threatened, you have the right to leave with your children, without facing legal sanctions, and to contact the competent authorities for further action: Police and Prosecution Authorities, Counseling Centers, etc.

Law 3500/2006

It provides for severe punishments for a number of harmful acts: physical harm (1-15 years sentence), insulting sexual dignity, with a particularly humiliating language or deed (up to two years), forcing a family member into an act using violence or threats ( six months-five years), threatening a witness or a family member, with the purpose of obstructing justice (three months-three years). Marital rape is punishable under the Criminal Code (5-15 years).

Ex officio offense

Domestic violence is an ex-officio prosecutable offense, so it is not necessary to file a lawsuit. According to the law, a complaint or information, statements of witnesses, or any other element, of which the Prosecutor will be aware, is sufficient to bring a criminal prosecution.

However, since in practice a criminal prosecution is usually not carried out on the basis of a complaint or witness statements alone, it is important that complainants persist and file a complaint with the public prosecutor’s office or the police. That’s the only way the process will move forward. Given that this is an ex-officio prosecuted offense, you should know that once a case file is filed, the process cannot be interrupted.


If you file a complaint to the police or the prosecutor’s office, immediately ask for a copy from the incident record log book. The police are obliged to receive your application and provide you with a copy.

When you go to the police station, you should know that the police authorities are obliged to: investigate the complaint, record the incident in the log book for offenses and incidents, and inform the Prosecutor in writing. Of course, from our experience, we know that there is a possibility that the victims will be discouraged by the police authorities. In this case, insist that the police are obliged to accept your complaint because according to Law 3500/2006 domestic violence is an ex officio prosecuted offense. If, despite this, you continue to face problems, call your lawyer or 15900 so that the police can be informed.

If you are injured, the Police must refer you to the coroner, if they don’t, ask for it yourself. Don’t forget to ask for a copy of the forensic investigation.


In addition to a complaint, you can also file a domestic violence lawsuit at the police station or the prosecutor’s office. In fact, this action is quite important in case of divorce because it proves the strong erosion of the marriage. Attention: The lawsuit is filed without a fee. In fact, if your lawsuit is filed within the framework of “catching him in the act”, the police are obliged to search for, arrest, and take the perpetrator, within 48 hours, to the prosecutor, who will refer him to trial. In court, you can request the imposition of restrictive conditions until the trial.

Provisional measures

The law gives you multiple protections, forbidding the person who abuses you from approaching you, your children, relatives, or witnesses anywhere. If you feel that you and/or your children are in danger, ask the Court of First Instance to issue a restraining order against the perpetrator and to have him relocated. With the same application, you can request that he does not approach you, either at your residence or at work, or at school, if he is violent against the children.

Legal assistance

For all of this, it is best to contact a lawyer, who will inform you in detail about your rights, the protection that the law can provide you with and the procedure you must follow, depending on your own needs and the situation in which you find yourself.

If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can contact:

  • The Diotima Center if you are a resident of Attica or Samos. Our agency can provide you with legal advice, legal representation, and coverage of legal costs.
  • A counseling center that will inform you of the procedure you must follow in order to be appointed a free lawyer by the Bar Association of your area.

Unlock your power

During the quarantine period, women living in violent relationships are the most threatened. Every survivor can escape abuse if they “unlock” the power hidden within them. All women have the right to safety, justice, freedom; to a life free of violence.

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