Bulgaria: protests against violence against women

Thousands of people across Bulgaria have protested against violence against women. The demonstrations were triggered by a brutal attack on an 18-year-old girl and the mild sentence handed down to her aggressor. Although she had been cruelly abused by her ex-partner, a court classified the act as "slight bodily harm" and released the perpetrator.

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Deutsche Welle (BG) /

The institutions have ignored the problem

This case has revealed a deep-rooted social and political grievance in Bulgaria, comments the Bulgarian service of Deutsche Welle:

“The institutions - police, public prosecutors, courts of law, churches, lawmakers, media - are indifferent towards intimate relationships. The mounting numbers of women and men who have been sexually abused or even killed during sex are systematically viewed as a secondary problem, as 'slight bodily harm' - both in the literal and figurative sense.”

Kapital (BG) /

Things are starting to shift

The overwhelming reaction of the public has at last awoken the various state institutions from their hundred-year sleep, Kapital writes:

“Police and public prosecutors have at last acknowledged the citizens' anger; the judges, who had acquitted the alleged perpetrators, held a press conference; the hospital has released the forensic doctor who prepared the report on the injuries until the case is clarified; and lawmakers have initiated amendments to the Criminal Code and the Domestic Violence Protection Act. These reactions - despite their only happening after the event - will at least do something to assuage the people's frustrations.”