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Общи :: A lot has been said about the Convention, and nothing about the women and children, victims of violence

A lot has been said about the Convention, and nothing about the women and children, victims of violence

Sofia, January 19, 2018 

Nearly 200 NGO’s, supported by academics and citizens, unite in support of the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul convention) with an open letter:
It would be funny if it wasn’t so cruel. That is how we console each other – we, the people who are not indifferent to day-to-day abuse and who for over twenty years support women, brutally beaten by their husbands and partners, help children who have suffered unthinkable forms of violence, work on legislature changes and improvements so we can save human lives. Because for us every person saved from a life of violence is a huge victory. That is our cause.
A lot of quite outrageous things have been said about the Istanbul convention, but no one mentioned the purpose of the document – namely, the women and children who are victims of violence. No political party or organization mentioned the woman from Okorsh, beaten with a hot plate. The woman from Haskovo, beaten to death. The stabbed woman from Sofia. We did not discuss the babies and children whose mothers live in constant fear for their own lives. Etc, etc….. The political and power confrontation is at the expense of the already dead women. At the expense of Elena and Viola.  At the expense of the children who will live their lives without a mother and with the nightmares of abuse and terror. At the expense of each 1 out of 3 women in Bulgaria, victim of domestic violence whose story does not reach anyone, let alone the media.  At the expense of women seeking help and it is refused to them because “it’s their own fault”. At the expense of those 70% of students between the ages of 13 and 16 who know personally a victim of domestic violence.
The situation benefits the perpetrators. It benefits those who think they have the right of ownership over their wife and children. It benefits those who beat, violate, abuse, isolate, stalk and finally kill their wife or partner. 

All the political populism and the underhanded interests, unleashed by the Istanbul convention, are at our mutual expense. Because we all pay for the violence against women and children. Because exactly domestic violence leads to dissolution of the traditional family and our children transfer this violence to schools.
The idea of the Istanbul convention is not just making a few legislative changes. Its fundamental aim is there to be no violence against women and children. That means one thing – prevention. It means that everyone – child or adult - is aware that violence is unacceptable in relationships and is prosecuted by state law. It means conducting a purposeful state policy, aimed at eradication of violence. It means coordination of the effort of all institutions in Bulgaria. In brief, it means that if a woman or a child have suffered domestic or gender-based violence, they can look for help on a 24-hour national telephone line for supporting violence victims. The victim should be able to receive shelter in a nearby crisis center and not be forced to travel to another city or region in a distressed condition. The victim should not have to go to numerous institutions in search of justice. It means that violation of a restraining order will be a criminal offense and the perpetrator will go to trial for that.
At the moment our legislature and judicial system do not ensure actual protection.
But we want finally women and children to be fully protected by the state. We want today’s girls and boys – tomorrow’s women, men and parents, to base their views on the concept of equality between women and men and non-violent conflict resolution in interpersonal relations. To base their views on mutual respect and recognition, not on ownership and control.
Therefore we call upon the leaders of all parliamentary political parties to an open discussion with National TV coverage on the essence of the Convention and why its ratification is important and useful for Bulgaria
We call upon the parliamentarians, political parties, media and all responsible citizens – do not gamble the lives of millions of Bulgarian women and children because of warping the truth.
Do not become victims of rumors and non-existent threats.
Let us prove Bulgarians are compassionate, sympathetic and reject violence.
Let us demonstrate the power of good leadership.
Support the ratification of the Istanbul convention which will bring a better future for all of us. A future without violence.

#конвенция 

Join the Facebook event here (January 23, 11 a.m.) https://www.facebook.com/events/207375829826761/

 

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Общи :: A lot has been said about the Convention, and nothing about the women and children, victims of violence