Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the 48th National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria,
On the penultimate day of your work as MPs in the 48th National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria, a 62-year-old woman was killed in Vratsa. The murder was committed in the woman’s home and her 35-year-old brother-in-law is in custody for the crime. The victim’s life was taken in a particularly cruel manner, investigators say.
This woman is the third victim since the beginning of the year. Of course, these statistics are taken from the black chronicles published in the media. No one knows exactly how many women are victims of domestic violence. There are no official statistics! We only count victims through the media!
This next murder could have been prevented!
Neighbours who heard a scandal in the woman’s apartment did not call the police because they “did not suspect the fatal end”, Bulgarian media reported.
This murder could have been prevented if a clear stand against domestic violence had been expressed on January 27 from the rostrum of the 48th National Assembly!
This murder could have been prevented if instead of discussing non-existent problems and instead of instilling fear in Bulgarian citizens by threatening them with the mythical monster “gender”, you had sent a clear message AGAINST VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!
The truth is that your discussions during the consideration of the Domestic Violence Protection Amendment Bill on 27 January 2023 were part of your election campaigns aimed solely at your political career!
And since your election campaign is obviously based on the denial and battle with the so-called Istanbul Convention, we would like to remind you that:
The majority of EU Member States (21) have ratified the Istanbul Convention. In all of these countries there have been positive developments in policies, protection and prevention of violence against women and domestic violence.
The implementation of the Convention in these countries has led to real progress in terms of policies and practices to protect, prevent and punish the perpetrator. Parties that have ratified the Convention take note of:
96% positive policy changes
83% positive changes in protection
70% positive changes in prevention
61% positive changes in prosecution
Political will and leadership are important in guaranteeing the life of every Bulgarian citizen. On January 27, all of you who voted against the DPAA demonstrated a lack of leadership and political commitment in defending the right to life of everyone, a right proclaimed in Article 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria!
Your proactive steps against the passage of the DPSA Bill actually mean a withdrawal from your duties as leaders because you are withdrawing from your duties to ensure the safety, security and right to life of Bulgarian women and girls who represent 50% of your constituents.
Recall that according to data published on November 25, 2022 by the National Institute of Statistics:
– 11.9% of women in Bulgaria have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence at some point in their adult lives, no matter who the perpetrator is or what their relationship is
– 20.5% have experienced one or more incidents of intimate partner violence. Mental, sexual and physical abuse (including intimidation) are included
– 36.3% or one in three women aged 18-29 has been abused by a current or former partner. The fact that young women are most at risk of intimate partner violence is particularly worrying
– 9.5% or almost one in ten women has experienced physical or sexual violence by persons in the household
– 12.2% of women have experienced sexual harassment at work by a man with whom they are in a professional relationship
– 28% experienced physical or emotional abuse in childhood from one of their parents;
These data show that Bulgaria lacks effective measures to counter aggression and violence against women and girls, including domestic violence. This lack of effective measures is a prerequisite to live in a reality where everyone is potentially threatened and everyone can be systematically abused mentally and physically and this is tolerated, tacitly or even vocally.
Bulgarian women and all citizens of the Republic of Bulgaria need effective prevention, adequate protection, effective investigation, and joint coordinated efforts between institutions and civil society organizations to protect them from domestic violence. The murder of the 62-year-old woman was the result of your refusal to take such measures.
The Bulgarian Platform of the European Women’s Lobby will continue to inform you about every case of brutal murder and violence against women and girls because we defend all women’s rights and the right and freedom to live in safety.
2 February 2023.
Bulgarian Platform to the European Women’s Lobby
THE LEADERSHIP OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES AND COALITIONS
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
Zlatan Zlatanov – Zlatan.Zlatanov@parliament.bg
Tsveta Rangelova – Tsveta.Rangelova@parliament.bg
Nikolay Drenchev – Nikolay.Drenchev@parliament.bg
Kosta Stoyanov – Kosta.Stoyanov@parliament.bg
Petar Petrov – Petar.Nikolov@parliament.bg
Ivaylo Papov – Ivaylo.Papov@parliament.bg
Alexander Ivanov – Aleksandar.Ivanov@parliament.bg
Peter Nikolov – Petar.Nikolov@parliament.bg
Desislava Atanasova – Desislava.Atanasova@parliament.bg
Lyuben Dilov – Luben.Dilov@parliament.bg
Ivan Chenchev – Ivan.Chenchev@parliament.bg
Georgi Svilensky – Georgi.Svilenski@parliament.bg
Cornelia Ninova – Korneliya.Ninova@parliament.bg
Kristian Vigenin – Kristian.Vigenin@parliament.bg