Victims of domestic violence will be able to report 24 hours a day via a mobile app, the Bulgarian government information service said.
Depending on the content, the messages will be forwarded to the Ministry of the Interior, bar associations or another institution, the statement said.
The mobile application will be ready in November 2023 and will complement the national helpline 0700 18 250.
The plan for the mobile app was announced on October 18 by deputy justice minister Georgi Nikolov at a regular meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov on measures to combat aggression and violence.
The number of registered reports of domestic violence is decreasing, according to the Bulgarian government statement.
According to data from the Social Assistance Agency, in the first six months of 2022, there were 399, and in the first six months of 2023, a total 363.
The statement said that in spite of the smaller number of registered cases, there was a public perception that they were increasing.
According to Ministry of Labour and Social Policy officials, the reasons for this include political stances that such violence is unacceptable, backed by public intolerance for it, which encouraged the victims to speak up, as well as the coming to light of old cases.
The meeting discussed the problem of early marriages, the statement said.
The Ministry of Education and Science said that schools are actively working on the issue, including with parents. Various campaigns for the prevention of early marriages are also held.
Psychologists and educational counselors in schools also work on these issues.
The teams of regional coordinators for protection and prevention of domestic violence at the regional directorates of the Interior Ministry have been expanded, the meeting was told.
(Photo: Fabrizio Turco)
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