Combating domestic violence in Bulgaria
In Bulgaria an estimated 900 000 women suffer from domestic abuse every year. The lack of support services for victims will now be addressed.
In Bulgaria, there is a lack of adequate support services for victims and the country does not fulfil the Council of Europe recommendation of safe accommodation in specialised women’s shelters. Moreover, the absence of specific provisions criminalising domestic violence and marital rape calls for reforms in the legal framework to ensure the protection of victims of such violence.
"We need to focus on the offenders. If we do not focus on changing their attitude, we will not be able to fight this problem. It is also important with good cooperation between NGOs, the social services and the police", said State Secretary Sabrie Sapundjieva from the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice at the launching conference on the Norway Grants programme in Sofia 15 November.
The €2 million Norway Grants programme will address domestic and gender-based violence in Bulgaria through supporting the creation of a robust legal framework ensuring the protection of victims and enhancing the capacity of professionals and relevant institutions in dealing with cases of such violence. In addition, the programme will support measures to improve victim support services including establishing shelters, and to raise public awareness. The programme will include specific measures to target the Roma community in Bulgaria.
“Gender-based violence is a global phenomenon we need to combat. It happens in all layers of society, from the poorest to the richest”, said Ambassador of Norway, Guro Katharina Vikør during the launch event.
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