The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - November 25th was marked by opening an information campaign under the motto “Every fourth: see the true face of violence” at the National Assembly. The event, organized by MP Mariana Todorova from the PG of ABV and the Bulgarian Fund for Women, is part of the global campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence”.
National Assembly Deputy Speaker Dimitar Glavchev noted that violence against women is one of the challenges demanding from us an effective response at national and European level. Results can be only achieved with joint efforts of institutions, NGOs, media and the whole society, he said, adding that the problem is serious and concerns millions of women and children whose human rights are violated worldwide.
Every fourth Bulgarian or one million women in the country have experienced physical or sexual violence, but the problem is still difficult to speak about and often is not commented at all, said Dimitar Glavchev. He stressed that violence has different faces, shapes and dimensions, but most importantly victims have to be aware of it and share it in due time so that it could be stopped. The problem is even graver as domestic violence affects children by not only hurting their soul and causing psychological trauma, but because it is often viewed as a model of behavior, added the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.
Dimitar Glavchev urged to give to victims a helping hand and make efforts to build a society where every woman can develop her potential to the full extent. Let's look for such behavioral models of society that will take violence to the lowest point of tolerance, let’s educate our children in love, compassion, tolerance and respect for human dignity, for only then violence amongst our ranks will subside, added the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.
British Ambassador Emma Hopkins said that the focus of debate needs to be shifted as it should be laid not only on victims, but also on perpetrators of violence. Men should be also involved in the debate and break the silence on this issue. You need to work on prevention of violence, she added.
MP Mariana Todorova expressed gratitude to the President of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva for the opportunity provided to launch the “Every fourth: see the true face of violence” campaign in Parliament. Over one million female Bulgarians are victims of violence, whereas every third female in the European Union has been subject to some form of violence, said Mariana Todorova. She stressed that most women victims of violence refuse not report their experience which makes them accessory to the offence.
Your presence here today is a sign and gesture of solidarity with the victims of violence, said Nadezhda Dermendzhieva from the Bulgarian Fund for Women, addressing her words to the MPs and guests of Parliament. It is also a sign of willingness and determination to fight and cope with this problem of so huge dimensions, she stressed.