Gender-Based Violence and Intimate Partner Violence in Greece During the COVID–19 Pandemic


  • Melina Emmanouela Niraki Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna



GBV, IPV, Violence against women, Covid-19, Greece, Gender rights


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly during lockdown periods, there has been an increase in cases of Gender-based Violence (GBV), Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), and Domestic Violence (DV) globally. This increase has been characterised as a “shadow pandemic” or a “second pandemic”. While previous research has shown a correlation between Violence against Women and times of crisis, little attention has been paid to the Greek context, which revealed a worrying increase in femicides in 2021. In particular, the significant response of civil organisations, women’s rights activists, and the #metooGR social movement in 2021 brought several GBV cases to public attention, triggering social mobilisation towards the fight for gender equality, elimination of GBV, and social justice. This research investigates Greece as a case study, focusing on GBV in the form of IPV in Greece since 2020, particularly during the first and second lockdown. To theoretically ground this investigation, a literature review on the topic has been conducted, complemented with statistics from annual reports on Violence against Women from 2019, 2020, and 2021, which were conducted by the General Secretariat for Demography and Family Policy and Gender Equality, a governmental actor dedicated to these matters. These annual reports are a newly formed initiative in Greece. Furthermore, through expert interviews with members of civil society and women’s rights activists, the discussion will move forward to the unique protection challenges faced during the pandemic, combined with newly invented ways to fight GBV and IPV, while giving survivors a possible way out even during this unique occasion. Based on the secondary data analysis and interviews, an increase in IPV is observed, accompanied by a lack of alignment between legal provisions and law enforcement, and a lack of an established action plan that can assure prevention and protection for women from the moment they experience violence until the closure of their case.