Deputy Minister of Labor for Social Affairs, responsible for demographic policy and family, Maria Siregela described “panic button” as “an important tool for preventing and combating domestic violence.”
She urged all women who have experienced domestic or gender-based violence to connect to the system and immediately use the “button” if necessary. Ms. Siregela emphasized the need to “take one step forward to end the tolerance for this kind of phenomena.”
The “panic button”, which began to operate today in Attica and Thessaloniki, is digital application and is provided free of charge to women victims of domestic violence who, by installing it on their smartphone, can immediately and safely notify the police. The “button” is activated in cases of domestic violence associated with a threat or danger to life, or physical integrity.
In particular, the victim, by pressing and holding the corresponding indicator on the screen of his mobile phone, activates the application. At this moment, a text message (SMS) is automatically sent to the operational center of immediate action, which contains the necessary information about the location of the person.
“The panic button helps women in danger, immediately get out of the aggressive environment, get help and support. The application is encrypted, i.e. it is not visible on the mobile phone of the woman who installed it.
Any woman can access the system in the counseling centers of the network of structures in Athens and Thessaloniki – in these two cities it started as a pilot, or in police stations,” Ms. Siregela explained.
As the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs said, the “Alarm button” is a tool with which people on the front lines (psychologists, social workers, etc.), with the help of some questions, will be able to understand to what extent a woman is exposed to risk and should be “pulled out” from the aggressive environment”.
Ms. Siregela also notes: “Today women started talking, they are no longer silent, they dare to go to counseling centers and also go to the relevant police stations where the staff is properly trained. Police officers (male and female) can save the woman immediatelywhose physical integrity and life are at risk.”
The Deputy Minister stressed that due to the fact that many victims are unemployed, there is also the possibility of employment supportso that they can “get back on their feet” (get rid of financial dependence on the aggressor), and it will be much easier for them to break off a toxic relationship.