Raids, Stalkers, and the Greek Police: Why I’m Leaving Greece (For Now)

I don’t really share personal stories here because although this is a “blog”, I use it to share inspirational travel advice and content to help people plan their trips rather than share ramblings about my life.

But although I lived in Greece for close to five years and my entire job revolves around promoting the country as a tourism destination and writing about it, personal trauma in my final year in the country led me to decide leaving Greece some time away.

Why I’m Leaving Greece (For Now)

I love Greece and generally have had a wonderful experience living in the country. I arrived in Athens in early 2017 with the intention of staying for a month or two and loved it so much that I never left!

Prior to moving to Greece, I had been teaching English in South Korea and picking up odd freelance writing jobs here and there. When I moved to Athens, I started using this site to write detailed guides to various Athenian neighborhoods and archaeological sites and to help people explore Greece off the beaten path.

I thought that I could use it as a portfolio to help me secure other writing gigs. But it has grown beyond my wildest dreams.

Today, with over 300,000 monthly readers and a strong social media following, High Heels and a Backpack is one of the world’s largest independent Greece-focused websites and solo female travel blogs.

Living in Greece and working on this site has become my full-time job. It enabled me to make enough money to travel the world and save for my dream home and I am eternally grateful to Greece for that.

I hope my passion for the country comes through in my writing. Over the last few years, I have had the pleasure of meeting wonderful people and working with some incredible Greek businesses. 

My aim has always been to support small businesses and promote ethical, thoughtful tourism in Greece.

But in the last year or two, I’ve had some traumatic experiences in my personal life that has tainted my view of the country and made me question whether or not I am safe here. Obviously, I can distinguish between the general Greek population and a few morons. 

But my personal problems in the country began to make me feel extremely stressed and unwell. When I first sat down to pen this article, it made me relive the trauma of the things that happened to me.

Greece will always have a special place in my heart. I will always continue to update the Greece travel guides and itineraries on this site.

But for now, I need space. I am currently based in Merida, Mexico, and will return to Greece when my personal issues are resolved a little.

(Trigger warning: abuse/domestic violence

Leaving an Abusive Relationship 

In 2019, I ended a long-term relationship with a Greek Policeman because he was violent and mentally abusive. It got gradually worse over time until I didn’t recognise the person I had first met.

In our final encounters, he punched me in the face, tried to throw me out of a moving car, repeatedly slammed my head into the car dashboard, and threatened to kill me. He made several violent threats, tried blackmailing me for money, and harassed my family members. 

Mental abuse was easier to dismiss. But when he started assaulting me, something finally snapped within me and that was the final straw.

Eventually, I went to the police in Athens with a pile of evidence, almost hysterical and asking for help. They did nothing. 

They didn’t even issue a case number or raise a criminal complaint. Instead, they told my ex-partner, their colleague, all of the details of my report.

This made him incredibly angry and caused him to harass me further. I contacted the British Embassy but they couldn’t get involved.

Reporting it to the British Police

In early 2020 I was visiting family in the UK when the harassment continued. He would harass and verbally abuse my relatives via their contact numbers.

He would call someone, hang up, call, hang up, repeatedly over hours over various phones. I reported him to the British police for harassment. 

They could not assist me as he was in Greece. They simply told me to change all of my contact information.

I told him that the British authorities were investigating him to scare him into leaving me alone. 

In response? He did not leave me alone but sent a formal email from his Athens police email address to the Derbyshire Police in the UK saying that I was “defaming” his character.

Best of all, he told them I was insane and I wasn’t even his girlfriend! 

So, I had to go about proving to the British police that I had been with this man for years and already tried to obtain a restraining order in Greece. It was such a waste of police time. 

They found it really bizarre and contacted him in Greece telling him to leave me alone. The British police have to follow up on every report made to them and although they listened to me about my complaint, they acted as though I was complaining about nothing and that it was simply two people wasting police time.

I didn’t really appreciate their attitude. On an international level, police could be more sensitive about intimate partner violence.

I appreciate that I probably came across as a bit hysterical and paranoid, but that’s how a violent relationship with a controlling person can leave you.

I contacted a lawyer in the UK who advised me to file a restraining order against my ex-partner just in case he tried to travel to the UK and harass me further. He didn’t contact me again and I thought it was over. 

I decided to return to Greece and not have my experience ruined by an unstable man. I moved to Skopelos island instead of returning to Pagrati, Athens where we lived. 

Flash forward 11 months and in November 2020, I was finally asked to give a statement to the Greek police about my report of domestic violence in 2019.

I told the authorities in Athens that I was in Skopelos town and they organised for me to give the statement there with the help of a local translator. I spent three hours in the police station answering questions and reliving everything but I felt that at last, it was over with and someone was finally listening to me.

The Police Raid 

On the 28th of February 2021, five armed Greek police from my ex-boyfriend’s department in Athens Cybercrime broke into my house in Skopelos through an ajar balcony door. They ransacked my house and seized all of my electronic devices (laptop, phones) as if I were Pablo Escobar and pushed me around speaking to me like dirt.

Why? For a report of “defamation of character” that my policeman ex-partner had made.

It was a Sunday afternoon and I was sitting in a room in my house in Skopelos when I heard multiple male voices outside and someone knocking at the front door.

I had had a lot of harassment by weird men on the island, including someone following me home on a motorbike while repeatedly asking for my phone number and not taking “no” for an answer. When I left my house later that evening, the man had been waiting behind a bush.

I followed the path from my house to feed the local stray cats and he popped up from behind the bush and screeched “so do you want my phone number?”

(Perfectly normal thing to do when a woman repeatedly says she isn’t interested: hide behind a bush near her house in the dark and wait for her to re-emerge. Maybe you can scare her into changing her mind?)

Another man had recognised me from my Instagram account, found my house, and was standing outside sending sexually explicit messages. I had turned off all the lights and sat there with a knife pretending I wasn’t home.

I wasn’t going to answer the door to someone I didn’t know, especially since I could hear a group of men.

Nobody had my address on the island. I wasn’t expecting anyone at the door.

I decided to ignore it and I was going back and forth in my mind wondering why they hadn’t given up and gone away. When I didn’t answer the door, the men started shouting and yelling in Greek and banging on all the windows around the house.

One man approached the window and put his hands on the glass to try and see inside. At no point did they identify themselves as police and I had assumed it was a lunatic.

I ran downstairs into the bathroom while debating what to do and wondering if the people would go away. I started running a bath. (Which, by the way, is a perfectly normal thing to decide to do when you think there are crazy people outside of your home!)

I stood there debating whether I should get in the bath or I should call someone. Concerned, I messaged several friends on the island like “I think there’s a lunatic outside my house”. 

Moments later, I heard someone yell my name from within the house.

Greek police break in through an ajar balcony

Since my landlord didn’t really respect boundaries, I just assumed it was him in the house and that he had let himself in with his own key. I start walking up the stairs, annoyed, that someone would not respect my privacy and would just let themselves in the house.

When I saw it was a random man I’d never seen before my immediate thought was that I was going to get murdered. The man was not wearing a police uniform but said that he was a cop.

Bewildered, I followed him up the stairs and into the living room where five armed Greek policemen were standing in a line. “We’re here from the police” one announced abruptly.

I could not fathom any reason why a group of cops were in my living room. My first thought was that someone I knew must have died. They had forced their way in through a balcony door that was not closed properly.

I asked what was going on and instead of addressing me, the police started speaking among themselves in Greek and I heard my ex-boyfriend’s name.

I felt sick. I had not had any contact with this person for two years and had thought that all of my traumas with him were over after the British police told him to leave me alone.

I don’t even know HOW he knew I was in Skopelos. Whether it be by stalking my social media or that the police (his colleagues) told him when I gave my statement.

I decided to tell them exactly that. I said that I had an outstanding report of domestic violence and physical assault against this person and that I had tried to get help from the authorities multiple times.

“Well, he has filed counterclaims!” one of the policemen snapped while putting plastic gloves on his hands.

Refused Access to a Lawyer 

Best Greek islands to live on in Greece

As it turned out, three police were from Athens Cybercrime (my ex’s department). Two were from Skopelos PD. They absolutely ransacked my house.

Immediately after they revealed why they were there, I asked to speak to my lawyer. When I had left my ex-partner, he had repeatedly made remarks about the things he could do to me since he was a cop and that he could “make it so I can never leave Greece”.

I had even told the Greek police in my previous reports and they had said I was being paranoid.

His job in Cybercrime entailed organising raids on the houses of cybercriminals and pedophiles and here he was organising one on my home. I asked the police if I could call my lawyer and they refused.

The cop that had led me up the stairs immediately snatched my iPhone right out of my hand. I remarked several times that I should be entitled to call my lawyer and the Skopelos police officer screamed at me in response to shut up, stop crying, and stop being hysterical.

“I SAID NO” he yelled.

After I keep insisting that this is not fair, one cop said that if I cooperated, I could call my lawyer at the end of the house search.

I had no intention of being uncooperative but if people break into your home without a warrant and refuse to tell you what is going on or speak to you with human decency, it isn’t a profound thought to want a lawyer or a translator.

(At the end of the search he then retracted this and refused to let me call my lawyer. He had lied to shut me up). 

Raiding my home

The Greek police emptied drawers, flipped mattresses, and threw my belongings everywhere. They broke my suitcase by sitting on it and yanking it open, ripping the zip.

They asked me if I had any other devices and I told them yes, my laptop. I had a half-written email open on the screen and went to save it. 

A policeman screeched at me not to hide things (hide what? I am a Travel Writer, not espionage) and forcibly yanked my arm away. I had an old, broken spare phone at the bottom of my suitcase that I had forgotten about. 

When the police tore open my suitcase and found it, the Skopelos Police Chief yelled at me “Forgot about this, did you? Thought we wouldn’t find it, did you?”

I was screamed at in Greek and spoken to like a piece of dirt. It was my spare old phone that I only had with me because it contained all of my screenshots and “evidence” of domestic abuse I had filed a report about.

I had hardly hidden it in the depths of my luggage in a pre-meditated move predicting that police would someday raid my home.

The raid seemed to go on for hours with the police meticulously checking every cupboard, drawer, and square inch of the property. In the end, I was asked to write down all of the passwords and unlock codes for my phone and laptop and I did.

Refused access to my lawyer

With everything finished, I asked if I could call my lawyer as promised. “No” was their answer.

They had simply told me that in order to shut me up.

In disbelief, I tried to reach past one of the policemen to get my phone. It was a mistake thinking I could lunge past a policeman, grab my phone and run off to call my lawyer.

But I was shaken up and confused. Another policeman restrained me, holding my arms behind my back.

I SHOULD have been entitled to call my lawyer. I didn’t even understand what was going on. While one cop was restraining me, the other started screaming in my face.

I got upset and cried because – well who thinks their house is going to be raided like they are some drug baron? I had moved on with my life and moved to the opposite side of Greece to get away from this person.

Refused the dignity of getting dressed in privacy

The police fiddled around writing down the various codes from my laptop and phone. The frustrating thing was that I had only had my iPhone for 6 months and it had all of my photos, videos, and memories from Skopelos on it.

To this day, I do not have it back. Throughout the entire process, I was wearing nothing but a long t-shirt I used as pajamas, and had bare feet and no underwear because I was going to get in the bath.

I asked if I could go and put more clothes on. One male officer followed me to watch me change.

What exactly was I going to try against five armed policemen? I couldn’t even be given the dignity of changing clothes without being watched.

Back in the living room, one of the police had randomly opened a door to the garden.

I asked them to please close it as I had 3 timid rescue cats and they didn’t go outside. They refused.

Attitudes of the Greek Police

When the Greek police had finished filling in whatever forms they were completing, I was yelled at to sign a document that I couldn’t understand. To begin with, I refused.

Common sense dictates that you never sign a form you don’t understand especially when it’s all in a foreign language. I asked again to speak to my lawyer.

I was told “no” and screeched at once again. Eventually, I (stupidly) signed it because honestly, I wanted them to just leave. 

I can read Greek but I don’t know every word. Fortunately, as it transpires it was just a list of what items were taken. 

At that moment, the chief of the Skopelos police turned around and asked “there are no cameras recording in here are there?”

I found that to be an utterly peculiar question. Why?

Behaving in a disrespectful manner you know is wrong?

The Greek Police raided my house for what? Reporting a Greek Policeman who abused me for years? 

Refused access to legally-required documents

As the police finished up their paperwork, I asked if I could have a copy of what I had signed and they refused. After stressing that I had no way of reaching anyone and that I was alone on the island and needed to call my lawyer, one policeman let me use his phone to call a local friend.

It was a Sunday afternoon and everything was closed. I lived there by myself and the nearest neighbors were five miles away.

My Greek friend arrived and called the Skopelos police station for me to ask why I hadn’t been given copies of the documents signed. They told us that if I went to the police station the very next day at 8 am sharp, they would give me a copy of the documents.

I actually lived in a rural area of Skopelos known as Raches which is an hour’s walk away from the main town. I couldn’t even sleep that night with anxiety over what happened and ridiculously, I didn’t even have an alarm clock without my phone!

I sat up all night watching the cooking channel (a trusty companion in traumatic times) and was at the station bleary-eyed at 8 am. I went inside and told the police that my friend and I had been told that I could collect copies of the papers I signed.

“No”. The cop said. “Nobody told you you could have a copy of the document.”

I said I thought it was illegal for me to not have them. He responded that it was illegal for me to have them.

The two of them sat there smirking and I just left upset.

A Disgruntled Landlord 

Wandering into Skopelos town, I bought a new phone so I could call my lawyer (finally!) and my friends and family to tell them what happened. The woman in the phone store was so nice, that it set me off being incredibly upset again, probably after being overwhelmed by everything that had happened in the last 24 hours.

I immediately called my lawyer who couldn’t believe the entire situation. He said that never in the history of Greece had he heard of such extreme measures for “defamation”.

He asked me to be honest with him as to whether I was involved in something more illegal than I was letting on. “Is there anything on your laptop that will point to a serious crime?” He asked.

“Be honest”.

I asked him what he meant.

“Like I don’t know, smuggling or a murder”.

“No” I replied. “I just reported my ex-boyfriend to the police and wrote articles about domestic violence but they don’t reveal his name or identity.”

We later discovered that the Athens prosecutor’s office had not worked at all during the pandemic. My ex boyfriend’s report of defamation had sat unactioned in a desk drawer.

Yet in the height of the Greek lockdown, my ex-boyfriend’s friends and colleagues had taken it upon themselves to travel across Greece from Athens to Skopelos, break into my house and take my things. Raiding the homes of sex offenders was not a priority but raiding the home of an ex-partner of an officer was.

“Defamation” is not a crime that would even be handled by that department. It would be a minor issue dealt with by a local police station.

A week or two goes by and my lawyer finally obtains a copy of one of the documents I signed. The police dodged his calls and gave all manner of reasons why they couldn’t give him the simple document.

The best response was when they lied and said I never asked for it because I was “foreign and confused”.

There is a second document that must be provided in instances like this. This document should detail what the charges are, who has the electronic devices, and why.

To this date, two years after the raid, my lawyer and I have not been able to obtain this document.

Leaving Skopelos

After buying my new phone and calling my lawyer, I trek back through the olive groves along the country path that led back to my house. After an hour’s walk, I arrive to see my landlord standing outside my house.

I thought he came to ask if everything was okay but no. He was furious.

He gave me a lecture about how Skopelos was a small community and that I should keep my head down. He said that people in the village were gossiping about how two police cars were outside his house and I was making him look bad. 

I just stared at him, dumbfounded by what I was hearing. He said if it happened again, he’d ask me to leave the property (!)

I explained the entire situation to him – my abusive ex-boyfriend and the police raid. He didn’t believe that the police would raid my house for such a “silly” reason. 

“I do not know what you are involved in Melissa and to be honest, I don’t want to know but if something like this happens again, I will ask you to leave the property. My wife is stressed!”

In that instant, I made up my mind that I was better off leaving regardless. I couldn’t even be bothered to explain or argue.

Then, he set about searching the property! For, who knows what.

Racks of coke? Guns?

I was paying him cash in hand and did not have a contract. I decided to leave the very next day and moved to Skiathos. 

A Skopelos Trouble Maker 

As mentioned, I had already had an issue with other men on the island. I had actually been to the police and reported that too before the raid.

A male Skopeliti friend had accompanied me to the police station. The police had been amicable in that instance, although I felt that they acted as though I was being silly and complaining about nothing.

After I had filed that report with the police, one of the men I mentioned filed a counterclaim and said he wanted to sue me for €40,000 euros for defamation. (Apparently, that is the in-thing in Greece to sue someone for defamation if they report you of a crime).

I was summoned to the police station for questioning. I didn’t bother to take a lawyer despite local people telling me that this man had “influence” on the island and that the police knew him and not me.

That is not how the law works. Fortunately, when I arrived at the station, the man had already retracted his complaint, confessed everything, and said he was embarrassed and that he respected me and was sorry.

Honestly, that situation was ridiculous and he should have been charged with wasting police time. Still, despite the stupidity of the situation, when the raid happened I feel that the police had an attitude of “what has this stupid woman done now?” 

Chased off the island

Skopelos is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. None of this is a reflection of the island.

But because of everything that happened to me, I could not have stayed there any longer or I think I would have had a mental breakdown. 

I loaded up all my things and my rescue cats and took a taxi to Agnontas port (the ferry was leaving from there because it was a windy day). I wrote a letter to the villa owner and posted it under the doormat along with the key, notifying him by text. 

As I sat waiting for the boat, I saw the villa owner speeding along the water driving about 100mph with steam practically coming out of his ears. He began asking me where I was going and said that I should come back with him immediately or he would sue me. 

I could not believe my ears. He had threatened to kick me out the previous day. 

Truthfully I think he was probably just upset because he had lost so much money due to the pandemic and my renting this property was the only income source. But still, this is not how you talk to people. 

“I’ll sue you” is apparently the misogynist’s response to not getting their own way. I had paid in full and I had no contract. 

I had no obligation to stay somewhere where the owner had threatened me and where I’d had such an awful experience. He then started screaming that if I left he’d have the police waiting for me at the other end. 

I tried to discuss it with him logically and he just yelled at me to shut up, not letting me get a word in edgeways or being capable of an adult conversation. He repeatedly screamed “Is that your choice? You want me to call the police? Is that your choice? You want me to call the police?” and sped off never to be seen again. 

I suppose he thought that mention of the police would scare me, two days after my house was raided. That, when you think about it, is sick and disturbing. 

I have never even spoken to police anywhere in the world before this entire debacle. The entire situation traumatised me. I called a Greek friend on the island to tell them what had just happened.

This friend was having coffee close to the station (of course, going for coffee is the national sport of Greece!) He kept gazing across to the police station and checking if the landlord stopped by but he never did.

It was only a short journey from Skopelos to Skiathos town with a short stop at Glossa port. But I had chest pains for the entire journey and kept anxiously looking at my phone, out the window, and across the cabin half expecting someone to come in and drag me off the boat.

I sent a frantic email to the British Embassy about the police raid, the actions of the police, and their refusal to provide me with documents. Again, they said they could not involve themselves in Greek proceedings.

My friend called me at every port. When I arrived in Skiathos, I half expected to see the landlord, my ex-boyfriend, or the police standing there but there was nobody and I almost cried with relief.

It sounds so dramatic but it had been such a ridiculous turn of events, I just wanted/needed to get off the island.

Moving to Skiathos 

I loved Skiathos and I had signed a six-month contract on a house there. I had already planned to move there before the raid. 

A random guy on the boat helped me with my luggage and another helped me find a taxi. I got quite upset and I think it was just the shock of people actually being nice and normal after a crazy two days. 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay in the Sporades any longer because all of this had affected me really badly psychologically. My house in Skiathos was also in the middle of nowhere. 

If I heard a car pull up outside or I heard a voice on the road, I was convinced it was the police or my ex-boyfriend. To clarify, I know I had done nothing wrong. 

But when someone is clearly mentally disturbed and holds a vendetta against you, it is unnerving. Particularly if they are a policeman in a country that has issues with police violence and corruption. 

I spent several months in Skiathos and met wonderful people during that time. But I was constantly on edge. 

I feel that the trauma I was dealing with over everything that had happened affected me too badly. I couldn’t enjoy myself or people’s company because I was constantly preoccupied with what had happened. 

Writing this now it is hard to convey the mental state that I was in then. I have since found peace and had therapy, but I definitely struggled with PTSD for a long time after ending my abusive relationship and after the police raid.

I was paranoid that my ex-boyfriend was still watching me and would try to harm me in some way and I became really concerned for my safety. I felt sick that someone I had left for being violent and abusive was able to abuse his power years later and was probably looking through my phone.

At that time I had been dating someone else and of course, everyone has personal messages, photos, and files on their phone that they would not want other people seeing – especially an abuser.

Because I didn’t know how much my ex-boyfriend was still watching me, I stopped posting to social media, turned location services off my phone, and became really concerned for my safety. I felt as though I had no one to go to for help and I could not go to the police because he was the police. 

I had two-factor verification set up for my social media but I changed my passwords after my devices were taken to be sure. A few times I received notifications saying that someone was trying to log into my Instagram account. 

I contacted the British Embassy, various departments of the police, the Greek ombudsman, and various domestic violence charities about my issue. Nobody helped me or even bothered to respond.

This was perhaps worsened by the pandemic and the lack of resources in Greece at that time but I have since connected with other domestic abuse and assault victims in Greece who have also felt hopeless. I hope something changes in the future.

Whatever your age/gender/etc, you deserve to live in peace and feel safe, not harassed by someone who you do not want in your life. This person was probably trying to intimidate me to drop my domestic violence charges against him but at that point, I honestly did not know what he could be capable of.

Authorities everywhere need to take domestic violence and harassment seriously, not wait until someone is injured or killed, and then give a half-assed apology statement for not recognizing it sooner.

Leaving Greece

I would have left Greece sooner, but having rescued three cats in Skopelos and I had to sort out all of their paperwork. This was not easy, particularly with Brexit and the Greek bureaucracy

To be clear, it is not that I wanted to leave Greece. I never would have left. But I had to remove myself from a toxic situation that was making me really unwell. 

I lost so much money by abruptly leaving Skiathos but I had to do the best thing for my mental well-being. This period was challenging for me and it took me a long time to pull myself out of feeling constantly anxious and depressed. It badly affected my work and my personal relationships.

I would go through a whirlwind of emotions every day. I would go from feeling incredibly furious that the police raid was even allowed to happen and would work myself up into a rage.

In the next moment, I’d feel hopeless because none of the authorities in Greece would even listen or respond to me. I was afraid that this person would do something else.

Through my blog, older British expats on Skopelos started contacting me saying that I was “harming the reputation of Skopelos” by talking about this.

Or I was “asking for harassment” because I wore bikinis. People are never asking for harassment and abuse.

Everyone deserves to live how and where they want in peace without fear. You don’t have to make yourself unattractive to be deserved of respect and women should hardly be expected to wear a burkha on the beach in the Mediterranean.

We all have our own issues in life and you never know what someone is going through. That’s why you should always be kind.

Sometimes I wonder if things would have been simpler if I had not made any report at all. But then again, how can you be certain?

He may well have still harassed me long after I ended the relationship. At least I have a paper trail of all of the emails and correspondence with the police.

Filing another report

In the summer of 2021, I was able to get a note from my lawyer so that I could travel to Athens to visit the police during the pandemic. We discovered that the domestic violence report that I had made in 2019 was filed as an “internal investigation” against my ex-partner rather than a criminal complaint.

In this way, the police I reported it to were able to protect their colleague and friend. My lawyer also discovered that despite my giving the police my mailing address, they had “accidentally” sent all of my mail on the matter to my abusive ex-partner.

He had been opening all of my mail and the confidential information about my reports. I am not sure if that was truly accidental or not.

I went to a different police station in Athens and gave a statement of the entire thing again, taking Greek friends with me to act as translators. Fortunately, the policeman I spoke to that time around was understanding, and empathic and filed my report.

Court cases take years to be heard in Greece and bureaucracy in the country is not a joke. After years of waiting, I received the news in late 2022 that the person was scheduled to stand trial for intimate partner violence in the winter of 2022.

Unfortunately, on the morning of the trial, it was postponed. Now, it is scheduled to take place in the summer of 2023.

However, my lawyer tells me that multiple continuations are common and the Greek elections may cause further delays. The charges against me for “defamation” were dismissed.

However, I am told that the person is now pressing new charges so we will see what they transpire to be. It is now two years since the police raid and four years since I left the person and reported them for domestic violence.

Since we never received the legally required documents after the raid in the first instance, my lawyer and I never knew for sure what I was being charged with. Since we are told my ex partner has now filed more different criminal charges against me, we do not know what they are either.

There should be a point at which someone looks at what is going on here. Someone should not be allowed to repeatedly file report after report after report against an ex-partner to try and find something that sticks.

Honestly, I would just like to move on with my life. I hold no expectations of something happening to this person and I have been able to obtain closure on the matter by focusing on the positives in my life.

I do not need a certain result to feel that justice has been served, although it is unfortunate that a case that would have been over and done with in a matter of months in the UK has been dragged out for close to 4 years already. If anything though, I am glad I was not bullied or intimidated into dropping my charges.

I spend most of my time in Mexico which the Greek authorities are aware of. However, they send me court summons that stress that I need to appear as a witness in this man’s prosecution.

I received a summons last year and was in Europe waiting for news of the trial. It was postponed.

Now it has been rescheduled again but I am told that it is very possible (and likely) that it could be postponed at the last minute again.

I cannot fly back and forth across the world at a great financial and time expense to stand in a room opposite an abuser I had fled and repeatedly asked for help from the authorities about. The disorganized manner that the Greek authorities handle these things makes victims of crimes have to repeatedly relive traumatic experiences and drag them out for far longer than is necessary.

But in a country where people are often waiting years to be divorced, and where there are literally instances of people that have been documented as “deceased” trying to get records changed to show that they are alive, I do not hold high hopes.

Final Thoughts

I will continue to work with my Lawyer on the matter, I will follow it through to the end. Similarly, I will continue to work with Greek Feminist Charities to address all of the problems with how abuse victims are perceived and treated in Greece. 

I have filed reports with the internal affairs department of the police about the actions of the officers that raided my home. If this is not taken seriously, I will escalate it to the EU courts.

Raiding someones home for no reason is a violation of someone’s right to privacy and a profound abuse of police power.

When I feel comfortable, I will return. Before moving back I will just dip in and out of Greece as a tourist for a while.

But when there are 192 beautiful countries in this world, there is no sense in staying in the one where you feel unsafe. 


Alice Cooper is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.


  1. I’ve always thought that whatever happened to me in Greece, I would NOT go to the police (a Swedish woman was raped on Samos in 2008, she was charged with defamation for reporting to the police).
    Your story just reminds me of never ever going to the police in Greece.
    Thank you for sharing, I wish you all the strength in the world.

    1. Hi Agnes, thank you for your comment.
      Absolutely, I was naive and thought that they would help me but it actually made everything much worse. I’d like to move on with my life but I can’t.

      I hadn’t even been aware of the Swedish lady until you mentioned it. Just did some research and I’m horrified. It seems that “defamation” and screams of “false accusations” seem to be commonplace. It’s unfortunate, as I am sure this would not fly in a country that was not so corrupt and patriarchal.

      Attaching details of the Swedish woman in Samos’ report if anyone is interested in further reading –

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