Lawyer Anelia Yoncheva graduated from the law specialty at University of Plovdiv “Paisii Hilendarski” She is currently a specialist in family law and human rights. From 2022 Yoncheva is a mediator registered in the Unified Register of Mediators at the Ministry of Justice. She has extensive experience in defending women’s rights and expertise in providing support and protection to women and children who are victims of violence.
How did the topic of violence against women and girls become part of your professional path?
The topic of violence against women and girls became part of my professional path back in 2014, when I was a student and became an intern at the “YES – united against violence” foundation. Later, I pursued my career as a lawyer. For almost 9 years now, I have been very interested in the topic, I protect the victims of domestic violence and I work for their awareness. I participated as a co-author in the publication of a Guide for the empowerment of women victims of domestic violence, seminars and press conferences, and I am currently working again on a project related to children, victims of violence, because I believe that the more informed our society is, the more successful it will be to work on the prevention of violence.
For me, defending the rights of women and girls is not just a profession, but also a cause!
What will you present at the conference on March 27 in Plovdiv?
During the conference, I will touch on some of the important issues related to the prevention of domestic violence, gaps at the normative and institutional level and will share moments from my practice.
Why do you think this issue is important right now?
I believe that this issue is important because despite continuous campaigns and work on this topic, unfortunately domestic violence is escalating more and more every day. Especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, cases of acts of violence affect more and more people, not only women and young girls, but also children and the elderly.
What do you think is the most urgent to change in the current situation in Bulgaria, specifically on the subject of violence against women and domestic violence?
There are many changes that need to be made and it is very difficult for me to sort out which of them is the most urgent. Perhaps the most pressing I consider to be the change in the deadlines for submitting a Claim for immediate protection under the Domestic Violence Protection Act. Unfortunately, the bill to change the Civil Code, which should have extended the deadline for filing a claim from 1 month to 3 months from the date of the last act of domestic violence, was not adopted, and this continues to create insurmountable difficulties in protecting the victims.