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"Exchange of good practices in handling domestic violence cases and protecting abused women and their children between Greece and Iceland"

On 28th of January 2021, the results of the cross-sectional Working Group that was held during 26th-27th of January 2021 in the framework of the bilateral initiative between European Anti-Violence Network (EAVN) and the Icelandic Police, were presented during an online press conference. This initiative was held in the framework of the Active citizens fund.  

The speakers in the press conference were: the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, Ms. Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, the Super Intendant Chief of Icelandic Police, Mr. Karl Steinar Valsson, the press spokeswoman of the Hellenic Police, Police Captain, Ms. Ioanna Rotziokou, the President of the BoD of the Organization “The Smile of the Child”, Mr. Costas Υannopoulos and the BoD President of EAVN, Ms. Kiki Petroulaki, Psychologist, Ph.D.

The Working Group’s aim the exchange of good practices between Iceland and Greece in handling domestic violence cases and protecting abused women and their children.

EAVN organized this two-day Working Group with the participation of representatives of Greek institutional authorities and non-governmental organizations that provide support and protection to victims of domestic violence. Opening speeches were addressed by the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Ms. Maria Syrengela, the Police Brigadier General, Head of the General Policing Division of Hellenic Police Headquarters, Mr. Stylianos Vardiampasis and the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, Ms. Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir. 

The Icelandic participants of the working group were: the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police and three of her associates and the former Minister of Social Welfare and Housing and currently a member of the newly established task force that addresses domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Eyglo Hardardottir. In the preparatory meeting for the working group, the Ambassador for Gender Equality in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Ms. Kristin A. Arnadottir, also participated.

The Greek participants were: the Police Captain Ms. Georgia Pasa, Head of the Domestic Violence Response Unit of the General Policing Division of Hellenic Police Headquarters and the Police Lieutenant Ms. Maria-Sofia Kyriakou, Officer at the same Unit, Ms. Evaggelia Karavia, LLM Lawyer, Special Associate to the General Secretary of Justice and Human Rights, Hellenic Ministry of Justice, Ms. Stella Chasirtzoglou, Legal Adviser at the Women Counceling Center of Thessaloniki, Research Centre for Gender Equality, Mr. Stefanos Alevizos, Psychologist, Head of the Greek National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of the “The Smile of the Child”, Ms. Kiki Petroulaki, Psychologist, Ph.D., BoD President of the European Anti-Violence Network and Ms. Antonia Tsirigoti, Psychologist, Member of the BoD of EAVN. The agenda of the Working Group is available at:

The delegations of the two countries presented the methodology and tools they are using to protect and provide quality services to victims of domestic violence, especially women and children. The situation in Greece and the needs, the challenges that both countries face for the improvement of services provided to survivors of domestic violence and, finally, ways to promote an effective cooperation between the two countries and further consolidation of this cooperation were discussed in depth.

During the press conference, the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police Ms. Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, opened and closed her speech with the phrase: «Domestic Violence is not to be tolerated. In the last 8 to 10 years we have changed our views and our methods. Our views are now more victim oriented and we work with partners from the social sector and ngo´s in order to ensure the safety of victims and to bring the perpetrators to justice. By listening to victims and analysing cases, we saw that it was necessary to investigate the cases as soon as they happened, not later. By securing evidence, the police and prosecutors can continue with the case without the burden of the case being on the shoulder of the victim. The other big change was that the police and the municipalities made agreements where social workers can be sent to the scene, to support the victim, get them medical help and advise them on the next steps. We have made mistakes on our journey but we have learned from them and we are fully committed to do better and will continue our journey as long as necessary.”

The BoD President of the European Network against Violence, Ms. Kiki Petroulaki stressed: "What will remain indelibly engraved in our memory are: a) the personal commitment of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, which is the determining factor for the absolute way in which Icelandic Police place the protection of victims as a priority, which confirmed to us what we also believe, namely that where there is no road, you open one… by walking… and b) the instantaneous and coordinated reaction of all systems (Police, Judiciary and support services) and the individualized approach of each victim of domestic or other violence, which all initiate from the deep belief that a person cannot be entitled to less than me!!!. And since Iceland has undergone a radical reformation in just 5 years, we certainly can do it also, as long as we want it!" Finally, she warmly thanked both the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, characterizing her as a valuable companion in this journey that has already begun towards a substantial partnership among agencies and between the two countries, as well as the Chief of the Hellenic Police, Lieutenant General, Michail Karamalakis, for the warm acceptance and the positive response of the Hellenic Police in this bilateral cooperation.

The press spokeswoman of the Hellenic Police, Police Captain, Ms. Ioanna Rotziokou, stressed: "we urge women who suffer from domestic violence not to stay silent, to report the incidents to the Hellenic Police. She also mentioned that, in addition to the phone call to the Emergency Center (100), and especially for women who are not able to speak on the phone, there is also the possibility of sending a text message (SMS) to 100, including their exact address, name and type of urgency (eg "my life is in danger", "I accept violence from my spouse"). Ms. Rotziokou closed with the message of the Hellenic Police campaign ‘YOU HAVE VOICE, WE ARE BY YOUR SIDE‘".

The President of the Organization "The Smile of the Child", Mr. Costas Υannopoulos stressed: "as stated by the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, the case of an abused human being is not a matter of the Police only, it is a matter of the society. We must learn to see the person and not the case. We warmly thank the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police for her humane approach to the issue of violence against women and children and for the utmost importance she attaches to the anthropocentric approach of the victims, their protection and their holistic support. We will continue our cooperation with Iceland in order to be able in some years to reach this remarkable level in Greece as well. We warmly thank Ms. Petroulaki and the Hellenic Police for our substantial and timeless cooperation all these years. ‘The Smile of the Child‘ will be a standing supporter of this effort, which will significantly benefit the Greek society." 

The statement of the National Police Commissioner of Iceland is available here   

More information: European Anti-Violence Networkinfo@antiviolence-net.euTel.: +30 2109225491


The bilateral initiative between European Anti-Violence Network (EAVN) and the Icelandic Police was implemented in the framework of the programme Active citizens fund, with EAVN being the implementing organization and Icelandic Police being the partner organization. The Active citizens fund in Greece is supported through a € 12m grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The program aims to develop the sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector in Greece, and to strengthen its role in promoting and safeguarding democratic procedures, active citizenship and human rights. The Fund Operator for the Active citizens fund in Greece is Bodossaki Foundation in consortium with SolidarityNow. For more information:        

Istanbul Convention

Presentation by Kiki Petroulaki (President of the BoD of EAVN) regarding the Istanbul Convention to the
Special Permanent Committee on Equality, Youth and Human Rights of the Hellenic Parliament

Session: Information on the monitoring of the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).


European Anti-Violence Network implemented the Project entitled 

"Re-Actions against Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) - Actions in favor of women-survivors of IPV" 

with co-financing by the European Social Fund in the framework of the category of action 3.2.4: “Support to Women’s Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations” of the NSRF 2007-2013, OP Public Administration Reform (Implementation Body: General Secretariat for Gender Equality).

Objectives of the project were to contribute to primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) via targeted:  
  • provision of information and support to women-survivors of IPV via:
  • Training of health and social care professionals (distance learning) on IPV related issues (e.g. screening, danger assessment, safety planning and documentation of IPV). For the training seminars it was developed the educational material that also included ready-to-use tools.   

 Informational Leaflet (in Greek) 

Guide of Organizations providing Services to Women Survivors of IPV (in Greek) 



 Guide: "How to Escape" from a Violent Relationship (in Greek)  

The Guide on "How to Escape" from a Violent Relationship, informs every woman that is being abused by her partner or husband (but also any other interested person), about what she can do, where to turn for help and what services can be provided to her by the health - social care, judicial and public order system of Greece. It describes, in a simple way, the legislative framework, the existing organizations/agencies where she can ask for services of documentation, protection, support and/or therapeutic services (for herself and her children), but also the "steps" that she should follow.
The first chapters of the Guide introduce readers to the phenomenon of Intimate Partner Violence and describe the living conditions, thoughts, feelings and difficulties that women survivors of violence are facing, the consequences of abuse, warning signs and myths that -unfortunately even today- surround the issue of women's abuse by their intimate partner

The Guide is mostly written in the first person, using the voice of every woman that the storyteller met through her own journey, in order to describe the steps that she firstly had to find and then to follow in order to escape from her violent relationship.





European Anti-Violence Network (EAVN) supports the movie "Noir Project". 
"Noir Project" is a short film that deals with the subject of domestic violence.
For more information about the movie, please visit website and facebook page of Noir Project. 


Project Youth4Youth - Empowering Young People in Preventing Gender-based Violence through Peer Education (Project No.: JUST/2010/DAP3/AG/1351)
European Anti-Violence Network, participated as a partner in the project entitled "Youth4Youth: Empowering Young People in Preventing Gender-based Violence through Peer Education", co-funded by the DAPHNE III programme of the European Union. The project was carried out from February 2011 until March 2013, and was coordinated by the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (Cyprus). It was implemented in partnership with Casa Delle Donne per Non Subire Violenza (Italy), the Centre of Research in Theories and Practices that Overcome Inequalities-University of Barcelona (Spain), the European Anti-Violence Network (Greece) and Women’s Issues Information Centre (Lithuania). The project’s main aim was to contribute to the prevention and combating of gender-based violence among adolescents by providing them with a safe space to reveal their attitudes towards violence, to reassess their tolerance towards it, and empower them to become actively involved in developing an environment free from violence for themselves as well as for their peers. The project was implemented using a gender equality and rights based approach. European Anti-Violence Network conducted, inter allia, the following: 
  • research study on attitudes of adolescents (~700 students) towards Gender-Based Violence in 4 Lyceums of Attica during the school year 2011-2012 [the research results are available here (in Greek) and here (in English)]
  • teachers' training workshops on prevention of GBV via implementation of primary prevention interventions at schools 
  • a series of experiential training workshops with students -using the ‘peer education’ methodology- in 3 Lyceums [see the results here (in English)]
  • student exhibitions aiming to present the results of the project and their dissemination to the local education communities (students, teachers, parents).
Education Material 

 Teachers' Manual 

Students' Booklet 

European Commission
With financial support from the
DAPHNE III Programme of the European Union


Gender Equality Awareness Raising against Intimate Partner Violence I & II (GEAR against IPVI & II)

European Anti-Violence Network was the Coordinator of the transnational Projects “Gender Equality Awareness Raising against Intimate Partner Violence I & II” (GEAR against IPV I & II) during 2009-2011 & 2014-2016 (DAPHNE II Programme, DG Justice). GEAR against IPV is a coordinated action of primary prevention of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) through school-based interventions aiming to raise awareness of both high-school students and teachers on the harmful effects of gender stereotypes and of unequal power relationships between the sexes as well as on how these are related with gender-based violence.
During the period 2010-2016, in the context of two GEAR against IPV DAPHNE projects seven National GEAR against IPV Packages have been developed and guided the pilot-testing and evaluation of interventions in high schools of seven EU MS (Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Romania, Spain): more than 450 teachers and school related professionals trained; more than 100 GEAR against IPV Workshops, lasting 13-26 school hours, conducted with the participation of more than 2.000 adolescents, girls and boys. Moreover, during 2016, in 5 MS (Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Spain), peer-campaigns were designed by the sensitized adolescents for raising awareness of their peers and National Conferences conducted with invited speakers the beneficiaries: two students/teenagers from each Workshop and the teacher who facilitated it.
The project's publications and results are available on the project's website:    


European Anti-Violence Network participated as partner in the Grundtvig Project entitled "Gaining a Common Perspective for a European gendered democratic Policy - GCPEP" (2009-2011). The subjects under study were:

  • Historical approach of experiences of women during the decades of 1938-1958
  • Study women's experiences during these two decades under two levels of political understanding via a) books of history and b) personal narrations of those women.

In the framework of the project, 5 meetings of the Transnational Project Team - TPT were held, in Bonn (Germany), Athens (Greece), Aarhus (Denmark), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Tallinn (Estonia). 

Past Events 

Under the aegis of host MEP Mr. Francesc Gambús it was organized by the “European Anti-Violence Network” and “The Smile of the Child” the event
The GEAR against IPV approach
Gender Equality Awareness Raising against Intimate Partner Violence:
Empowering new generations to build healthy intimate relationships
that was held on 21 November 2017 at the European Parliament.

The aim of the event was to present to Members of the European Parliament the material, methodology, interventions implementation and effectiveness evaluation in five Member States (Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Croatia, Spain) of the GEAR against IPV Approach. In addition, the elements of success for the active engagement and participation of teens and children in their own awareness raising and empowerment were presented. In this framework, invited speakers were representatives of the project’s beneficiaries (teachers and teens) that that participated in the project from the 1st Junior High School of Agios Nikolaos (Crete) and the Home of “Τhe Smile of the Child” in Aigion.

 Agenda of the Event 

European Conference
"Building Healhty Intimate Relationships"

On 22-23 September 2016 was conducted the European Conference of the Project GEAR against IPV II - "Building Healthy Intimate Relationships". 


Press Release - Photos

During the first day of the Conference the presentation focused on the GEAR against IPV approach, its philosophy and its material; on the basis of the Master GEAR against IPV Package, 7 National Packages have already been developed, culturally validated and evaluated, which fully satisfy the requirements of Article 14 of the CoE’s Istanbul Convention.

Representatives from all partner Organizations (7 Member States) who participated in the GEAR against IPV-I and -II projects, along with the projects’ external evaluator, presented and shared their experience from developing their National Package as well as of training teachers and implementing Workshops with adolescents in their country.

Since the approach GEAR against IPV can greatly contribute to the fulfillment of the obligations arising from Chapter III of the Istanbul Convention, at the end of the first day Experts’ Working Groups were held (experts in the field of prevention and combating IPV and GBV in adolescents from 31 EU Member States, candidate and potential candidate MS will work together).

During the second day of the Conference, the results and conclusions of the Experts’ Working Groups were presented and discussed with the audience.

The Closing Session was entitled “CoE's Istanbul Convention as roadmap towards an effective European strategy for the prevention of IPV and GBV in future generations: the role of school”.

The Conference was conducted in the framework of the European Project GEAR against IPV - II with financial support from the DAPHNE III Programme of the European Union. More information for the project is available on the project's website 

European Commission
Directorate General Justice
With financial support from the
DAPHNE III Programme of the European Union

Training Seminar for Teachers & Psychologists "Building Healthy Intimate Relationships"


On 1st-3rd April 2015 was successfully held the 1st Training Seminar of Teachers and Psychologists entitled: "Building Healthy Intimate Relationships". A total of 20 Teachers and Psychologists who work at the NGO "The Smile of the Child" and at the Shelter for Abused Women of the Municipality of Athens attended the seminar. The aim of the seminar was the
  • theoretical and experiential training of teachers on issues related to gender stereotypical attitudes, gender equality and gender-based violence in adolescents’ relationships 
  • capacity building and skills development for the implementation and evaluation of the adolescents’ awareness raising workshops in school or other settings 
  • development of skills related to identifying, handling and appropriate referring of cases of abuse of children and teens they may face.

The seminar took place in Athens in the Studio “YouSmile“ of the NGO "The Smile of the Child". The trainees who attended the seminar will implement adolescents' awareness raising workshops. The next seminar will be held in Athens at the beginning of the school year 2015-2016 for secondary education teachers from different areas of Greece. 

GEAR against IPV Χτίζοντας υγιείς σχέσεις ανάμεσα στα δύο φύλα students awareness raising prevention of intimate partner violence

The training seminars are being conducted in the framework of the Project GEAR against IPV - II with the financial support of the DAPHNE III Programme of the European Union.

More information about the project and its activities are available on the project's website

European Anti-Violence Network (EAVN) is the Project's Coordinator - the project has a duration of 2 years (October 2014 - 2016). more

European Anti-Violence Network organized on February 28th, 2014 Conference entitled: 
"Writing beyond Silence: Promoting Autobiographical Competence to help survivors of gender violence"  







The Conference was organized in the framework of the project “Writing beyond Silence: Promoting Autobiographical Competence to help survivors of gender violence” (with financial support from the DAPHNE III Programme of the European Union)

European Commission
With financial support from the
DAPHNE III Programme of the European Union

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National SOS Helpline 15900 and electronic communication via e-mail that is being operated by the General Secretariat for Gender Equality. 

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