After 'Deborah': 25 organizations alert that the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence is still not being implemented.

The Coalition "Together Against Violence," an alliance of 25 civil organizations, of which the BHC is a part, issued an open letter urging Prime Minister Acad. Nikolay Denkov, Deputy Prime Minister Maria Gabriel, and ministers from the cabinet to expedite the implementation of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence adopted last year.

The letter points out that Bulgarian institutions were given a sufficiently long period - a whole 6 months - to allow the responsible ministries, institutions, and state bodies to prepare and align their activities with the changes in the law.

"The delay in adopting and implementing the law costs the health and lives of many victims who continue to turn mainly to non-governmental organizations that have been working for years to support victims of violence."

Problems exist at all levels: national and local, in the judiciary, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior, in healthcare, and social services. Difficulties arise in: apprehending perpetrators; serving restraining orders; assessing the risk to individuals by judicial bodies; medical examinations, and in practice in all areas.

Participants in the coalition "Together Against Violence" strongly question why non-governmental organizations are being kept away from the entire process, given that they mainly possess expertise in domestic violence protection.

The letter concludes with a call for immediate action on behalf of victims of violence: "We, from the NGO sector, continue the unequal battle against domestic violence, but it is time for the state to contribute to care and prevention, not just in words."

The Coalition "Together Against Violence" is an informal association of non-governmental organizations aimed at more effective combatting of domestic violence.

You can see the full text of the letter here.