mercoledì, Ottobre 20

Greece: the rise of homophobic violence field_506ffb1d3dbe2

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“We can’t be sure if there is a rise of homophobic attacks incidents because only the last years we have a systematic record of incidents of racist and homophobic violence” remarks Mr. Theophilopoulos. As for the reasons, they vary. “First of all, the Greek society is very conservative and intolerant versus difference. In school, where bulling against everything different reigns, the subject of sexual edification and significant humanitarian values remaining untaught. Another significant factor is the hate rhetoric used even by institutional factors, political and clerical which legalize the violence by citizens. Moreover, Greek Justice is real slow with police officers having participated in incidents of racist violence. All the above create an incubator for racist violence and more particularly the homophobic one”.

“A huge “minus” is the lack of structures hosting for victims. We have refugees because of sexual orientation”, says Mr. Theophilopoulos. “It remains to be seen whether the discussion and then the ratification of civil partnership for homosexual couples reinforced homophobic hate. The ratification of the civil partnership for homosexual can only positively be judged and the Greek lawmaker has to make one step before and legislate the legal recognition of sex identity. In violence and racism a democracy has to answer with more democracy”, tells us.

Another “endorsement” to homophobic violence is the rise of far the far-right parties in the country. “Along with the deep rooted in the Greek society racist views, they justify hate against anything different. The representation of a Nazi party in parliament, despite the prosecution, indicates that the party receives the affirmative votes”. “Has the anti-racist bill limited homophobic violence?” is a very often question. “The anti-racism bill is a positive development in this direction, but we need a stricter law with regards to hate speech. The law covers the crime not however the verbal violence if not leads to crime. In Greece we have laws, the problem lies in their implementation”, replies Thanasis Theophilopoulos.

According to Thanasis Theophilopoulos, “School homophobic bulling is not something new. The scientific society and media approaches superficially the fact, putting the stress the victim’s and abuser’s psychological problems, while bulling is based as well on social stereotypes which are reproduced within the school”. With regards to the Greek Media role, Mr. Theophilopoulos observes that they have started to cover fairly well the subject of homophobic and transphobic violence and discriminations. Although, wrong perceptions about the LGBT community- mainly coming from the showbiz- is promoted by the Media without response from the other side.

“In other countries, record is more widespread and the civil society is more active. In recent years, the state has taken some measures against the exclusion of vulnerable groups. It remains a lot to be done, like the constant training of Police people, the relentless intervention against the abusers and innovations in the education sector (teachers training, measures against bulling). Last but not the least, collaboration among state and civil society is more than needed”.


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