Important Victory on Domestic Violence Legal Reform in Bulgaria
Wednesday, April 22, 2009 10:37 AM

The Bulgarian Parliament has passed an amendment to their penal code that criminalizes the violation of an Order for Protection against domestic violence issued by the court and based on the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act.  This introduces a punishment for failure to comply with the Order for Protection, enabling the police and courts to enforce the Orders, thus providing an important advancement in victim safety and offender accountability.

In 2005, Bulgaria passed a new law on domestic violence that included an Order for Protection remedy.  This was a landmark development in that the law was one of the first of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union countries.  Advocates in Bulgaria continued to push for an amendment to the criminal code.  In 2008, the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation and The Advocates for Human Rights published a monitoring report on the implementation of the law, Implementation of the Bulgarian Law on Protection against Domestic Violence: A Human Rights Report.  One of the primary recommendations of the report was to criminalize the violation of the Order for Protection. 

The amendment was passed after lobbying by the NGO coalition Alliance against Domestic Violence and the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice.

Please see the Expert's Corner article about the amendment written by Genoveva Tisheva, Director of the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation