Society

He pushed her off the cliff”

With the gender-based violence and femicide on the rise in Greece, there are many voices calling for the urgent need for
education and self-criticism of the society, the dismantling of stereotypes and no tolerance against such crimes. And there come the conservative misogynists in the mainstream media trying to acquit the perpetrators of gender-based violence and show understanding if not even sympathy for the devil. In the femicde of Folegandros, several media promote the murderer’s claim that the victim “argued back” and had made his life “difficult.” As if this was a reason to justify a murder, not matter how brutal or not

Alarmed the recent murders against young women by their also young partners, both the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and the chairwoman of KINAL Fofi Gennimata called for the urgent need for preventive interventions in the society.

Last Friday a 30-year-old man pushed his 26-year-old girl friend off the cliff on the island of Folegandros following an argument after she was distracted and they missed the correct way to their planned destination. The man ran way from the scene but was arrested a day later and he confessed the crime to police. He claimed that he tried to save her.

The autopsy revealed, however, that the young woman died of drowning meaning that she was alive when she was found in the sea. Furthermore, the body had several injuries on the hands, legs, chest and even on the eyes implying that the murderer had brutally beaten her before pushing her over the rocky beach.

The calls by Sakellaropoulou and Gennimata come the day when one of the biggest mainstream newspapers in the country ta nea posted this morning a despicable statement regarding the murderer’s motive.

“Who hasn’t heard phrases like ‘I’ll throw you out the window’ during a fight? The 26 year old was arguing with her boyfriend in the car because they got lost and he lost control and the car ended up on the rocks. Apparently angry the girl got out of the car and then the 30 year old did what has gone through many men’s mind: he pushed her off the cliff.”

After an outrage on social media the newspaper apologized for “the unacceptable and totally wrong sentence noting that the reader were right to be outraged. Note that the article did not bear the author’s name.

However, it wasn’t just ta nea, a private company, that tried to downplay the seriousness of the heinous crime. State broadcaster ERT reported about the femicide on Folegandros and even wroted it on the super for those who did not hear well.

Note that the murderer and the victim were together for over six months. So what does “not serious relationship” means for a conservative government and a conservative public broadcaster? That the victim hasn’t presented her boy friend to her parents and was going to vacation with him wihtout being married or at least officially engaged?

Similar tolerance towards the murder of 20-year-old Caroline Grouch in May was shown by mainstream media as well. KTG reported about it here.

Tolerance against heinous crimes has to end as soon as possible and the young men in our country have so to say “be reloaded” if we do not want to find ourselves in a rotten and sick society, in an arch-conservative environment ruled by witch hunting and victim blame.

Educate your sons

In a post on Facebook, President Sakellaropoulou emphasized “the need for timely preventive interventions, in the family, at schools, as well as in the workplace, to eliminate the stereotypes that stem from gender inequality thus creating collective tolerance for morally and criminally heinous acts, such as recent incidents of gender-based violence and femicide.”

The President added that these incidents “have left us all speechless, shocked and caused us deep disgust and even deeper sadness. At the same time, however, they raise serious concerns about the extent of these phenomena in our country.”

She stressed that “we should not allow a culture of violence to prevail, nor should we allow inequality, abuse and fear to prevail in family and personal relationships.”

Chairwoman of socialist KINAL/PASOK Gennimata noted in a post on Twitter “one more woman lost her life by her partner’s hand. Fear is now in the homes of women. That’s enough.”

“We have to raise our boys to enable them to create, to share, to love, to protect, to respect, to appreciate. We have to raise our girls and tell them they are equal, they deserve it, to claim, to feel free in the relationship, to rely on their strengths,” she pointed out.

“Our societies have suffered a set back with the pandemic,” she noted adding that “A woman’s life does not seem to have the same value. No one has the right to consider his own life superior or to take the life of a woman he thinks she belongs to him.”

“No one has the right to speak of the bad moment,” she noted in reference to the murderer’s confession to Greek police that he pushed his girl friend off the cliff due to a “bad moment.”

Meanwhile in Velo, Corinth, hours before they took the 20-year-old victim Garyfallia Psaraki to grave, her friends called for the urgent need of a conference to address the problem of femicide in the country that seems to be out of control and even worse to be tolerated.

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