The epidemic of rape has been on the rise in Greece, where victims not only include the Greek but also refugees who sit in camps after fleeing from war in their homeland.
Only 3 percent of rape attacks are being reported in Greece due to lack of medical examiners to certify the assaults. According to sources, around 5,000 rapes occur in the country every year. But only about 150 are backed up by a Medical Examiner because 30 of the country’s 51 prefectures don’t have one.
“Imagine the suffering for a rape victim… to have to travel to find a medical examiner,” Grigoris Leon, head of the Hellenic Society for Forensic Medicine, told sources.
In March 2017, the Equality Now charity, in a global report on rape, said that Greece, along with Belgium and The Netherlands, were failing to adequately protect victims.
In Greece, marriage appears to be a legal remedy for “seduction” of a child, at which point criminal prosecution pauses, the report found, although the details of the law were not clear, it said, adding that perpetrators escape prosecution if they marry their victim, in nine of the countries.
“Sexual violence will not end unless it is dealt with at every level in society as part of a concerted effort to change not only laws and policies, but also attitudes and behaviors – in public and in private,” Antonia Kirkland, head of Equality Now’s legal equality program told the British newspaper The Independent.
Moreover, a study by Harvard University warned of a “growing epidemic” of sexual exploitation and abuse in the country, which houses 62,000 asylum seekers stranded by the EU-Turkey deal and border closures through Europe.
Aid workers and officials say there is often nowhere to turn, with victims trapped in camps with their abusers too frightened to go to police or authorities, who frequently lack interpreters and specialists.
About 35% of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, according to the World Health Organization. One in 10 girls, or 120 million children worldwide, have experienced “forced intercourse or forced sexual acts”at some point in their lives.