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Events :: Достъп :: BFPA together with other NGOs supports the Convention of the Council of Europe on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

BFPA together with other NGOs supports the Convention of the Council of Europe on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

MarchSofia, January 5, 2018

In connection with the heated debate and the campaign against the ratification of CE’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) we, a group of organizations and experts in the field of domestic violence and child protection, state our firm support for the ratification of the Convention and our firm position against all false statements and suggestions in connection with it, based on lack of knowledge on the subject or deliberate manipulation of the public opinion. Shifting of the public debate in the wrong direction is the same as refusing to take decisive measures against the violence towards women and children.
For thousands women and children in Bulgaria violence is an everyday occurrence. According to the latest data 1 million out of 4 million Bulgarian women are victims of violence at home. For 54% of Bulgarians sexual violence is an extremely serious problem. According to a survey among students between 13 and 16 old, 70% know personally victims of domestic violence. Child Protection services, who according to Bulgarian legislation are authorized to take measures for protecting children at risk and work with them and their families, in 2015 have worked on 1839 cases in total.

SignsThe Istanbul Convention turns the attention to all aspects concerning prevention, information, education, protection, measures and help for violence victims. The document has been signed by 44 countries and by the European Union, and until now has been ratified by 28 European countries, 17 of which are EU members. The convention envisages every country to create a special monitoring mechanism, to allocate sufficient financial and human resources for implementing it, to define or create one or more official authorities responsible for coordinating, enforcing, monitoring and evaluating of policies and measures for prevention and combating all forms of violence included in the Convention.
None of the texts of the Convention mentions a “third sex”, trans-sexuality or education which destroys “Bulgarian traditions”. On the contrary – on more than one occasion the Convention states the common European values of equality between men and women, non-discrimination and protection from violence. Furthermore, the term “gender” when translated in Bulgarian, has been especially defined as the stereotypical perception in some societies for suitable roles, behaviors and activities for men and women that generate prejudice, inequality and toleration of violence against women and girls.
Studying “non-stereotypical gender roles” or roles which break the usual stereotypical discrimination based on sex, prevalent in some countries, is connected with the values and modern pedagogical methodologies of not encouraging stereotypes like “Men don’t cry”, “Girls play with dolls, not with “toys for boys”, etc.,  as the goal is to improve the understanding of stereotypes and prevent the unequal and unfair treatment of a certain person based on their sex.
The ratification of the Convention will contribute to a positive change of the national legislative framework in the following fields:
- Implementation of official government statistics about the cases of domestic and gender based violence.
- Criminalization of “stalking”, spousal rape, changes in the limitation period of these crimes
- Ensuring  a quick and effective investigation of domestic and gender based violence 
- Implementing a sufficient number of adequately situated specialized free services for protection of victimized women and children 
- Implementing an obligation for a violator to attend specialized programs that include social and psychological counseling
We express our support for the ratification of the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence on behalf of Bulgaria as evidence of the existence of political will for decisive measures against such a dehumanizing phenomenon. We call upon the members of Parliament, the responsible institutions as well as media and society not to become victims of manipulative and distorted interpretations of the clearly defined by the Convention goals and terms for combating the large scale problem of violence against women and children.

Parents Association
Association Demetra
Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association
Bulgarian Centre For Non-for-Profit Law
Velina Todorova, Member of the Child Rights Committee
Social Activities and Practices Institute
National Network for Children
Know-How Centre for Alternative Childcare
Association "Child and Space"
Association Children and Youth
"Animus Association" Foundation
Gender Education, Research and Technologies Foundation
For Our Children Foundation
Tulip Foundation
Applied Research and Communications Fund
PULSE Foundation

 

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Events :: Достъп :: BFPA together with other NGOs supports the Convention of the Council of Europe on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence