[Bulgaria] Unanimous adoption of amendments to the Penal Code for Domestic Violence by Bulgarian Deputies

28 Nov 2018

Deputies voted unanimously to adopt amendments to the Penal Code that criminalize all forms of domestic violence in Bulgaria. Despite the rejection of the Istanbul Convention, the government has focused on more than a dozen rules to combat domestic violence. The changes foresee up to 5 years imprisonment for charges of psychological harassment, protection of victims of forced marriages, and up to one year imprisonement or probation to persons accused of systematic persecution of another.

It has been difficult to produce comprehensive statistics on victims of domestic violence in Bulgaria. Most of the victims do not seek help, often the reason is that they believe they believe they are guilty of what is happening to them, this is what Dilyana Markova from the Animus Assciation Foundaton has shared. Current statistics show that in 2017 about 1,700 victims of domestic, sexual and human trafficking sought help, while the National Children's Line has reported being contacted in regard to nearly 700 child abuse cases.

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