On November 30, nearly 60 specialists in the field of domestic violence and juvenile justice gathered at the Lyuben Karavelov Regional Library in Ruse, as well as online, to discuss the topic of children witnessing domestic violence in Bulgaria.
The reason for the meeting is the project "Children First", which allows over 100 experts from the country to increase their competencies on the issue through the so-called cascade training. The expert from the Center for Sustainable Communities Development, Diana Georgieva presented the goals of the initiative as well as the guidelines for the work of one of the Italian partners - CISMAI. The director of the Center Dinamika Association, Deana Dimova, noted the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the phenomenon of domestic violence and how it affects children. She also presented quantitative and qualitative data related to users of services in antiviolence centers.
The family therapist Yanka Vasileva told about her first-person work with children, witnesses of domestic violence and highlighted the signs by which she can recognize when a minor is traumatized and what should be done in different types of violence against children themselves. She also shared that this type of problems in early childhood inevitably affect a person for life and especially in adulthood, emphasizing the mother's relationship with the child as a primary source of his perception of relationships with others.
Emphasis was also placed on the regulatory framework of the phenomenon in Bulgaria thanks to the chairman of the Association of Women Lawyers – Elka Porominska. During the participation of lawyer Maria Gancheva, the participants met an experienced expert on child protection, witnesses of domestic violence in Italy and it was especially interesting that the country has a children's ombudsman who works on children's issues at all levels.
The training ended with encouragement for all those present live, who were awarded a certificate of participation as a gesture of gratitude for their attention to the problem and readiness to solve it.
The materials that were presented at the event can be found here:
- Legal framework in Bulgaria and Italy (in Bulgarian) - Download in PDF
- Children First - Legal Framework (in Bulgarian) - Download in PDF
- Signs of domestic violence (in Bulgarian) - Download in PDF
- Project presentation (in Bulgarian) - Download in PDF
- Practice in working with children who witness domestic violence (in Bulgarian) - Download in PDF
- CISMAI guidelines (in Bulgarian) - Download in PDF
- How the Covid-19 pandemic affected domestic violence (in Bulgarian) - Download in в PDF
- Quantitative and qualitative data related to anti violence centers users (in Bulgarian) - Download in PDF