Greece’s Olympic crusing champion Sofia Bekatorou’s determination to talk out over an alleged sexual assault by a high-ranking federation official in 1998 has set off the nation’s #MeToo motion. Shortly after the previous Olympic gold medallist revealed the assault earlier in January throughout an internet occasion organised by the Ministry of Tradition and Sports activities concerning the safety of kids in sport, dozens of different circumstances emerged, as a domino impact that uncovered the darkish aspect of sports activities in Greece.
Following the highly effective testimony on the assault that occurred throughout preparations for the 2000 Sydney Olympics within the federation official’s lodge room, the Athens public prosecutor’s workplace launched a preliminary investigation and when the official’s identify was revealed, his Hellenic Crusing Federation (HSF) membership was suspended. A number of members of the federation resigned out of respect to Bekatorou, and Greece’s Stavros Niarchos Basis froze all funds to HSF. Though the case has been referred to a prosecutor, the process is taken into account slightly a formality, as underneath Greek Prison Legislation the crime is prescribed after 15 years. The perpetrator has denied any allegations, labelling Bekatorou’s feedback as “false and slanderous”.
Many crusaded towards the allegations, questioning why it took them so lengthy to speak about it and questioned the character of the assault together with the motives of the sufferer. This sceptic response by a giant variety of the Greek inhabitants solely demonstrated the pathogenies of the society, proving that talking out towards sexual assaults -“even after so a few years”-, is far more problematic than the incident itself. Confronted with prejudice and accused of provocation, the sexual assault victims nonetheless discover themselves trapped in a scenario the place they must justify themselves for daring to have a voice concerning the incident(s) that stigmatised their lives thereafter.
Help by the state is essential. At present Bekatorou could also be fortunate sufficient to take pleasure in the advantages of establishments’ evolution, the judiciary’s progressiveness, society’s solidarity and the neighborhood’s methods of psychological help. Again then, although, the case wasn’t the identical and that was one of many fundamental the explanation why the Veteran Olympic champion and now mom of two, didn’t break her silence earlier.
“I hope…that different girls and individuals who have skilled sexual abuse will come ahead in order that our society can be extra wholesome, and we’ll now not be afraid”
The case shouldn’t be the identical for a lot of girls that had the identical expertise however lacked the publicity of Bekatorou. For a lot of of them, their “situation of infamosity” wouldn’t make the identical media fuss, rendering it uncertain that they might ever dare to share their private expertise, with out the viewers questioning their morals and consent. Until there’s a collective motion and mobilisation, as within the case of Aristotle College in Greece’s second-largest metropolis, Thessaloniki. Following the instance of Bekatorou, former college college students spoke out towards certainly one of their professors, who was systematically exploiting his educational standing to harass his feminine college students. For the reason that veteran crusing champion broke her silence, dozens adopted.
Sexual assault circumstances will hold arising, as objectification nonetheless prevails each in the direction of men and women. Provided that the mentality change saying “no” means “no” is a long-term battle, governments ought to first begin with the fundamentals; by releasing victims from the ethical must first show that they don’t seem to be responsible of being sexually abused, by forming the mechanisms to guard and heal them and by holding perpetrators accountable. When authorities and societies cease turning a blind eye, then nobody will ever be alone.