The Council of Europe called on Bulgaria to Better Protect Victims of Domestic Violence
In a letter to Bulgarian authorities, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović called for better legal and institutional protection against violence against women and domestic violence. This was announced by the oldest international human rights organization on Friday.
Mijatović writes that the condition in the Bulgarian Penal Code for violence to be "systematic" in order for domestic violence to be treated as a crime must be lifted immediately. According to her, this requirement not only puts the victims in great danger, but also limits the possibilities for punishing the perpetrators and sends a dangerous message to the public that domestic violence is acceptable.
She recalls that the Bulgarian authorities have not yet implemented the Council of Europe's earlier recommendations to provide services in support of victims of domestic violence and to take additional measures to promote equality between women and men. According to her, these measures include awareness-raising and education to combat sexist prejudice.
Bulgaria is one of seven European countries that have not ratified the Council's Convention to Combat Domestic Violence Against Women, also known as the Istanbul Convention.
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