Bulgaria: Deputies and Experts discussed the Draft Law on Protection from Domestic Violence
Key issues raised during the public consultation on the draft law on amendments to the Domestic Violence Protection Act (DVPA) were discussed at the Ministry of Justice.
Representatives of all parties represented in parliament were invited to the working meeting in order to get acquainted with the outlined discussion issues on the bill, the Ministry of Justice announced.
The discussions were attended by the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria, representatives of the non-governmental sector active in the field of prevention and protection from domestic violence, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.
The following controversial issues have been outlined:
- the definition of “de facto cohabitation while living together” ;
- measures for protection of a victim;
- definitions of economic and mental violence;
- funding of non-governmental organizations;
- allegation of initiating discrimination against men and fathers;
- the deadline for submitting an application for protection by the victim; the reverse burden of proof, introduced through the declaration under Art. 9, para. 3 of the DVPA;
- the fine imposed by the perpetrator's court.
The purpose of the second working meeting, organized within a week, is to seek consensus on opposing views and proposals for changes in the texts of the bill, so that MPs recognize the topic of domestic violence and make it a priority for consideration in the National Assembly.
In 2019, an interdepartmental working group with a wide expert panel prepared amendments to the DVPA. The bill was published for public consultation in the period from 13 to 27 January 2021, and during this period received numerous proposals, feedback and comments.
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