As a result of the courage of Natalie Karneef and Dana, the two survivors in the rape trial fiasco and their supporters at GHM, the Greek media are picking up the story. These two women are not only honouring themselves but they honour all of us by standing up and speaking out against rape. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to have to go through all this in a country where you do not speak the language and the courts don’t even have the decency (even though it’s a legal requirement) to provide a translator. My heart goes out to both of them and I will make a commitment to be at the next trial and do all I can to make sure that the court is full of supporters in January 2011.
Natalie has a blog and has written about her experiences of the rape and the trial. You can read her words here. Dana doesn’t have a blog but has written a statement that I am posting here with permission.
I am extremely disappointed and frustrated by yesterday’s outcome. I feel that I have done everything that the Court has asked of me. Having been summonsed to attend on four occasions and making arrangements on all of those four occasions, I have yet again been turned away without ANY progress in the case. In deferring our case because the defence lawyer has made a commitment to another case, no matter how significant, means that the Court prioritises her time and commitments over my own and Natalie’s. It is not easy for us to attend and we also have commitments, including work commitments, which we forego in order that we can attend. I feel that the defence lawyer has committed to a work load that she is not able to effectively manage and the Court’s decision yesterday suggest that it supports that. Recognising that the decision made yesterday cannot be reversed, I expect that when I attend once again in January 2011, that the Court will hear the case efficiently, effectively and to its conclusion
Although I am deeply saddened and angry about what happened in court, I am happy that the Greek media is picking up on it. But mostly I am blown away by the courage and strength of these two women and the outpouring of support from people on the internet.
Veto and Ta Nea will be publishing articles this weekend so I will post links as soon as they go online.
Please post something about this case to your own blogs, to Facebook, to Twitter or whatever social media you use. Your voice makes a difference. Also, let me know in the comments or by email, if you come across any other links related to this case.
Thank you to Natalie and Dana for fighting this battle. For making the difficult (and expensive) journeys from your homes to be here and trying to get this rapist off the streets. Is there any way that we could start a fund for donations to make sure you don’t have to suffer further financial hardship when you have to return for the trial in 2011? I think people would be willing to donate a few dollars or euros to support you.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.