Working Title – Help, Bulgarians, I Need Somebody

Yesterday, a woman was killed by her former partner in Sofia, Bulgaria. He took their infant child and while the police were searching for the perpetrator, he killed the child and tried to commit a suicide. The society is outraged and demands justice. Again.

Unfortunately, the death of this 23 years old woman is part of a cruel statistic – a long list of Bulgarian women killed by their partners/husbands/male family member. If I am not mistaken, she is the 22nd such case since the beginning of the year. Well, one that we know about. And judging by looks of it, she won’t be the last one.

See, Bulgarian parliament passed out, earlier this year, on ratifying the Istanbul Convention literally fearing that this will lead to the introduction of the third gender in the Bulgarian constitution. (Don’t ask! Apparently, the majority of Bulgarian politicians reads exclusively only crappy translations in Bulgarian and no other foreign languages.)

For months, the political debate was not centred around the prevention of violence against women and children, education or even change in the legal framework. Instead, the debate shifted towards legalising equal rights for same-sex marriage and how this has nothing to do with the culture and Orthodox Christian upbringing.

On social media, people are asking for capital punishments, labour camps even. And while I see how this will appease someone’s consciousness, this surely will not affect the growing tendency of 2.2 Bulgarian women being killed by a partner or a family member each month in 2018, or that every 4th woman is a subject of domestic violence.

What the Bulgarian woman needs is a re-educated Bulgarian man – one that values and respects the opposite sex and its existence and contribution to the Bulgarian society. She needs to feel safe.

The above does not happen simply by signing documents, introducing higher punishment or another half-willing measure. It requires a well-thought, consistent and time-consuming plan to re-educate the Bulgarian society. It requires hard work at home, in school, at work and on the legal framework.

Until this happens, everything else will be a working title, the shocking headlines will continue piling up, incredibly insensitive interviews will appear on national TV and more and more Bulgarian mothers, sisters and daughters will be losing their precious lives.

 

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