In Greek city of Larissa, two senior men abducted a 14-year old girl. They held her against her will in an apartment for 15 days, sexually abused her and systematically forced her into prostitution. The two men (one of them was her Godfather) were arrested yet others who were involved into this crime are still not. The girl’s identity is being kept hidden and she’s currently under protection, yet what was the public reaction to this crime in Greece?
Feminists in Greece have reported that they were highly disappointed in the fact this crime was seen as specific case whereas this girl is not the only person who has been sexually abused in Greece. They explained that no protests were organized and the media coverage was poor and mainly focused on pitying the victim and ignoring the sexual violence issue in Greece. They stated that the rape culture in Greece is beyond the breaking point and therefore they have gathered to formed a movement called: “No Tolerance”. No Tolerance will the voice of women in Greece who have been a victim of sexual, physical, psychological, economical violence and sexist discrimination.
Here’s the statement from No Tolerence: “Five people are accused for what the 14-year old girl went through. These people, as usual, are presented by the media as “monsters”, “sickos” etc. However, when we look at their photos, we only see ordinary men and not “antisocial elements”. The rapes were not committed by “antisocial elements”, they were committed by relatives, neighbors, lawyers, grocers and family men of the town. A whole society stands silently by, complicit in this rape and in every rape. The media are also complicit, when they represent each case of rape, murder and abuse of women as a surprising and isolated event. Those who are, every single time, shocked, and then quickly forget, are complicit. Those who believe that women are solely responsible to protect themselves are also complicit. We refuse to forget. We know that what happened to the girl in Larissa could happen to anyone, an acquaintance, a friend or a classmate; and we know it has happened and will happen again to others. We demand justice. Justice means that the punishment should be proportionate to the crime, for all perpetrators. Justice means changing the institutional framework in order to better support the victims. Justice means that the media should openly discuss these crimes without feeding sensationalist articles to a spectacle-thirsty audience. Justice means that those who do not see and do not hear, who never speak out, should also be held accountable. Justice means not to be afraid – on the street, at work, at home, out with our friends. So that the rape of the 14-year old girl does not go unanswered. So that none of us feels alone against the patriarchy!”
On 24th of September, No Tolerance have organized a protest in Athens, against rape culture where over 100 people have joined. They chanted: “Not tolerance in Larissa, no tolerance anywhere, the fight against rape is everywhere!” Feminist who participated in the protest said that the reaction from the public was highly positive and many bystanders stated that they were not aware of this crime and they thanked the protesters for raising awareness.
No Tolerance also did not forget to show solidarity with the women of Poland who are currently under the risk of loosing all abortion rights as the Polish government is discussing to ban abortion without any exceptional cases.
No Tolerance is determined to continue their fight against patriarchy and calling out to every woman in Greece to join them! If you would like to connect with No Tolerence you may write to them at email@example.com