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From a slap to murder
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-09-10 10:17:14
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A few weeks ago the foreign community in Finland, especially the Greeks, read in the papers that a musician of Greek origin, well-known in the circles that follow ethnic and music events in Finland, had violently killed his wife, mother of two infants. The first reaction was shock because most of us, including me, had met both him and his wife, yet we were left with the idea that they were a very quiet couple with art and the kids filling their lives.

The first shock was followed closely by a second shock when we found out more about the couple’s life. The woman had left the man sometime before the tragic events and she had a court order forbidding him to go near her because she had often been a victim of his violent character. The day the tragic events took place she had returned to the house to collect some things and a new argument led to another beating culminating in him hitting her with a hammer until he killed her. For the ones like me who had met him only in social occasions, this came as an immense shock, since the man seemed extremely quiet and anything than violent.

I’m not trying to preach, but this case has shocked me. Even though I have often spoken about domestic violence and I have often explained that domestic violence doesn’t necessarily come from the ones who look tough, that domestic violence has no color, religion, financial status or education, the event is still shocks me. Domestic violence is not something simple and the certain event proves that it doesn’t stop at harassing words but it is easy to cross the line and become a murder. The unfortunate victims of this event are the innocent infants that will grow up to find out that their father killed their mother.

The big question coming out is …if this quiet man, at least the quiet man we all knew, proved to be a murderer, nothing to do with the sensitive lyrics he was writing, then how many others like him are there around us? There is one bitter truth here: how many times have we heard someone worrying about the people around us in case we do nothing wrong, except smile stupidly?

Unfortunately it only takes once because after that the damage is done. It doesn't stop with the couple; how many times have children ended up in hospital covered in suspicious marks because they …fell from a chair, walked into a door or, more common, fell down some steps? How many times have the right people heard about that before something more serious happens?

The right people, that’s another big chapter. Unfortunately the abused people don’t trust the right services, especially when it comes to the police. A reason? What the people will say, that’s one reason, another reason is that people don’t trust the police. The police, in a general spirit of being fair, will call the violent spouse/parent and give a warning! The victim will then have to deal with the outcome of this warning. When cases come to court lawyers take over to prove that the spouse was …asking for it!!! In a very twisted situation the rapist often becomes the victim and, after a …warning, is back out on the streets to do it again.

The result is unknown. How many times have psychologists found out that behind the mask of a murderer and torturer was hiding a child that had been tortured during their youth. Hitler himself is an example of having to live for years with the violence of an alcoholic father disappointed by his position and work. That was an extreme example, I am well aware of it, but it shows the best way how much domestic violence can influence people’s life and I know that the example fits psychology stereotypes but unfortunately it is so very true!

Victims of domestic violence are not only women and children, but also the elderly, husbands and other relatives who live under the same roof. Please talk about it, talk with them, talk with specialists don’t feel afraid. By talking you might not protect privacy but you do protect lives and what is worth more than a human life? Remember that there are many ways to kill somebody and they are not always physical.

Ovi Magazine has long campaigned against domestic violence and hopefully we will do more in the coming year. We do it with the only weapon we have: our pen, or better in our case our keyboard. Please join us and fight domestic violence everywhere you find it.

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