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A Message of Love: Femicide Video Goes Viral in Greece

Femicide video Greece
Still of “Don’t Ever Leave Me,” viral video about femicide. Credit: Lacta / YouTube

A popular Greek company released a video depicting a story of femicide for November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

For many in the United States, Thursday, November 25th, 2021, is a day to celebrate Thanksgiving, but this year, this day of gratitude coincides with the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

In recognition of the day and in honor of the thirteen women who have fallen victims to femicide in the first ten months of 2021, the popular Greek chocolatier, Lacta, has released a short film.

The power of the short has quickly turned it into a viral video, eliciting emotional responses from Greek viewers.

Femicide in Greece

Instances of femicide have increased during the pandemic, but Greece faced unprecedented numbers, reaching thirteen victims in 2021 alone. The result has been increased social activism and a call for protection and awareness.

Lacta, one of Greece’s most popular chocolates, has been a leader in the market for over five decades. The company releases an annual short film that relates to love and emphasizes their slogan, “Lacta. The sweetest piece of your day.”

In response to this new social movement against femicide, Lacta released a video titled, “Don’t Ever Leave Me.”

The video features a couple at the beginning of a love story. The idyllic start of a Greek romance. That initial obsession and connection spiral into a toxic relationship, one defined by fear and aggression.

The male protagonist, played by Ektoras Liatsos, begins to exhibit violent behavior towards his girlfriend, actress Christina Cheila Fameli, who is unable to leave the relationship. The relationship concludes with femicide.

Lacta’s Facebook post is accompanied by a commentary on the video, “True love is about your rights, and we are by your side, to defend those rights.”

Collaboration on Women’s Rights

The short film was a collaboration between Lacta and DIOTIMA – Centre for Gender Rights and Equality. Also going by the name, The Centre for Research on Women’s Issues (CRWI), “Diotima” is a non-profit, non-governmental women’s organization.

Diotima was established at the end of the 80s through an initiative of a group of women from different academic backgrounds. The organization aim at systematically highlighting discriminations against women on all levels of social, political, and economic life.

Already, the video has received high praise from Greek women and men, who feel the power of the message, congratulating Lacta for their contribution to social discourse.

In just four minutes, director Argiris Papadimitropoulos, captures the various, complicated emotions that entangle these relationships.

Lacta’s video’s closing message is a call to action against femicide, but also, in each of our responsibility to recognize the signs of abuse and, collectively, do something about it:

“Until today, in 2021, 13 women have been murdered and thousands have been abused by those who supposedly “loved” them. This is not love. Learn how to identify signs of psychological and physical abuse in a relationship. Visit diotima.org.gr”

Women’s rights activists have observed November 25th as a day against gender-based violence since 1981 and on February 7, 2000, the General Assembly adopts resolution 54/134, officially designating 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Greek Parliament recently introduced a bill that includes provisions to impose tougher penalties for heinous crimes such as rape or sexual abuse of minors and introduces measures designed to increase the protection of vulnerable social groups and crackdown on sex offenders.

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