The event took place on 12 December 2022 and was part of a project funded by the Council of Europe.
The forum brought together more than 100 people, representatives of political parties, European and Bulgarian institutions, including the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ambassadors and experts from civil society who work on the frontline in the fight against violence against women. The Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria Iliana Iotova took part in the event and expressed her strong position against violence against women.
During the event there was an emphasis on the possibilities for rapid legislative change in order to ensure the safety and protection of women’s lives and there was a discussion on the current policies and challenges in Bulgaria for combatting violence against women and domestic violence. Members of the 48th National Assembly also spoke in favour of the rapid adoption of the amendments to the Law on Protection from Domestic Violence. The legislative amendments could be adopted within a month, said Ilina Mutafchieva (“Democratic Bulgaria”, DB), Kalina Konstantinova (“We Continue the Change”, PP), Hristo Terziyski (GERB-SSD), Tsvetan Enchev (MRF) and Yavor Bojankov.
Violence against women and domestic violence is an extremely serious problem that affects our entire society yet it continues to be neglected. Data from European institutions show that violence against women costs Bulgaria more than 6.8 billion euros a year (EIGE).
The series of crises we have faced have worsened the situation, putting even more women at risk. Almost every day we learn about another brutal murder or a case of violence against women, and according to statistics collected from media publications, at least 23 women have been killed by men in Bulgaria since the beginning of 2022 alone.
The event was part of the long-term efforts of organizations and experts who over the years provide services to victims of violence, share practices and analyzes and create conditions for the development of our legislation so that it will be truly effective in protecting human life.
The forum also marked the international campaign of the United Nations “16 days of activism against gender-based violence”.
The event was part of the project “Civil society communication and advocacy campaigns on the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence using a joint methodology developed by the Council of Europe, WAVE Network and UN Women”, implemented by the Bulgarian Platform to the European Women’s Lobby.