New Campaign by the BHC and Partners Aims to Build the First Hotline for Male Domestic Abusers

At least one in four women in Bulgaria has been verbally or physically abused at home, according to statistics. Psychologists warn that during and after the quarantine of the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is even worse.

There is a large number of campaigns dedicated to the domestic violence issue in Bulgaria, but none of them are targeted directly at the abusers. Our goal is to change that.

When it comes to domestic violence, we are used to seeing women as victims, they are the ones who need of help, who are dependent on men, and are the physically vulnerable part in the conflict. That’s how the real weakness of the abusers remains overshadowed by our desire to help the victims. When in fact In most cases men’s aggressive behavior comes as a result of childhood traumatic experiences and emotional damages left unresolved for years: often they are violence victims themselves, have low self-esteem, mental health issues or live under socio-economic stress and addictions.

This campaign sets two main goals:

1. To create and support the First Hotline available to men who commit acts of domestic violence.

The hotline will provide professional psychological assistance to male abusers in order to help them recognize and understand their aggressive behavioral problems and the situations that trigger them. Introduce models for managing their emotions, search and find new and non-violent ways of communication. The team of consultants will direct those seeking help to professional work sessions with psychologists from the Alliance's programs for protection against gender based violence network.

All the support and assistance provided will be strictly confidential.

2. To change the public debate about the domestic violence issue and the perception of a victim.

Most often abusers need to reestablish their powerful and dominant role. The acts of violence are in fact signs of weakness and emotional immaturity, of seeking validation of their own strength and power, of recurring self-doubt.  The discourse on women as the “weaker gender” justifies and stimulates this behavior of the aggressors. This campaign will highlight domestic violence as a sign of weakness of the abusers and put them in the position of the weak and vulnerable side of the conflict. It aims to put focus on the prevention of domestic violence, not just healing the wounds.

Domestic violence is not a "family issue". It affects us all. Together we can help more men to pick up the phone instead of raising their arm.

Support us by donating!

This is a campaign realized in partnership together with McCann Sofia advertising agency, The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and The Alliance for Protection Against Gender-Based Violence. 

Fundraising for the Hotline ends on the 25th of October 2020. See more details on how you can help and donate at the website Platformata.bg. Click here.