Domestic Violence resume in English by S3bxicG

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									                                       Domestic Violence1
                                             Summary
During the last few years several international forums of experts were
dedicated to the range and acuteness of the problem “domestic violence”.
They drew public attention to this social phenomenon in terms of setting the
human rights – the right to live, the right to be free of cruel, inhuman, or
humiliating attitude, the right to live without being subject to discrimination
- at defiance. All those rights are given guarantees by the International Pact
for Civil and Political Rights, by the European Convention for Human
Rights and Basic Freedoms, by the United Nations Organization’s
Convention for eliminating all forms of discrimination against women, and
by other international documents. Bulgarian legislation does not provide
guarantees for victim’s protection. In the light of international law Bulgarian
women are much more affected than Bulgarian men are by the faults of the
Bulgarian legal system. Due to the relatively high share of affected women
the legal imperfections worsen women’s condition and offer hidden
discrimination.
Experts focus their attention on the need of legal changes that will lead to
sentencing the perpetrators, to instructing all professionals connected to
domestic violence, i.e. the police, medical and law specialists. It will also
lead to developing a system for public support of women that includes
access to information and shelter for women-sufferers.
In Bulgaria the traditional understanding of human rights are still observed
and our legislation is built on the principle of laissez-faire with the exception
of extremely grave cases connected with the death of the victim. At the
moment there is no working mechanism for protection of victims. It is a fact
that here in Bulgaria the state does not take part in averting violence or
defending against it. It remains unpunished and the defense in court remains
an expensive, awkward, and almost hopeless process. In most cases the
victim continues to suffer harassment and threats by the abuser even during
the trial because there is no law mechanism for their separation.
This book is dedicated to family abuse, the phenomenon that often remains
hidden and even more worrying because of the serious physical,
psychological, and social consequences for victims, who in most cases are
women and/or their children.

1
 Valentina Zlatanova is Senior Research Associate, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Institute of Sociology,
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Head of Department “Sociology of Deviant Behavior”, Professor at the
South-West University of Blagoevgrad; e-mail: V.Zlatanova@cl.bas.bg
The author makes an attempt to:
 To explain the mechanism of domestic violence and its effect on the victim
and thus to land a helping hand to social workers;
 To show the high psychological, family, and social value of family abuse;
 To contribute to providing people with more information and raising their
sensitivity on the problems of domestic violence;
 To win more and more supporters of the cause of limiting and eliminating
family abuse.
In the first chapter of the book it is illustrated that the widespread resort to
violence when imposing personal norms has turned into a model of
behavior. This has happened directly - through the use of force, and
indirectly – through threats of using force, for which both the sense of fear
and helplessness and the lack of confidence in the institutions, which are
said to provide security, play an important role. In this process fear appeared
to be a valuable factor and violence – a possible reaction, a way of survival
and self-realization, a type of behavior provoked by the situation. The
number of repressive attitudes increases both in society and in family. The
author outlines the tendency of spreading the use of violence at home, on the
street, and at work. Besides, abuse is connected with violation on a person’s
pride, dignity, and physical inviolability. In spite of being connected with
physical injuries it is often accompanied by giving offence, disrespecting
and lowering the sufferer’s prestige. According to criminal statistics’ data in
Bulgaria there are committed about 360-370 domestic murders. According
to crime statistics the number of recorded victims of criminal violation for
the 1991 – 1994 period increased 1.5 times which includes the number of
violation against women – approximately 1.7 times.
The characteristic features of violence are: increasing the number of crimes
committed in groups, preparation and planning in advance, brutality, cruelty,
impudence, and obscenity. The rate of recidivism in murders grows. 35.6%
of the perpetrators have previous sentences (among the previous convictions
those of forcing the personality are predominating).
On the other hand approximately half of the victims of abuse have already
been in a more or less prolonged conflict with the perpetrator before the
actual act of violence. In approximately 1/3rd of the cases these were
husbands, friends, relatives, colleagues, or neighbors. Sufferers, especially
those of the bad cases, are characterized with being subjects to habitual
victimization. This fact sometimes lead victims to retaliating for the
violator’s defiance or to initiating conflicts that end with violence. In this
respect the percentage of illegal provocation of the act of violence through
violence has doubled. This is a general tendency observed together with the
decrease of the number of victims “submitting to violence”.
At the same time the list of arguments that could justify violence is observed
to be continuously growing. According to the author such arguments are in
fact attempts to give reasonable explanations to deviating behavior and to
formulate the defense of the perpetrators of such crimes against both self-
accusation and accusations of others. In this way the disapproval coming
from the internalizing social norms is neutralized, turned to the opposite
direction, or eliminated in advance. Thus social control proves to be
ineffective and the individual is free to brake it without being troubled even
by their own self-accusations. Their actions seem acceptable if not right to
them. Mills is among the first who throw a light at the techniques for
neutralization of employed violence and after him many other sociologists
and specialists discuss this matter.
The latter rely on two basic factors:
 The use of alcohol;
 Emotional problems.
Practice shows that oppressors very often use alcohol as an excuse for their
behavior as well as for bringing discredit on the victim by causing them feel
more responsible for what has happened than they actually are. Similarly to
the case with alcohol use, in the case where emotional problems are the
basic factors different constructions are used depending on whether the
actual behavior of the perpetrator is considered excused or not. If the first
are considered to have emotional problems the second are characterized with
using psychological explanations in order to present themselves as a rather
“temporarily-out-of-themselves” people. The quite popular theory of control
explains violence as an act of intolerance, a crisis in the communication, and
a result of breaking or loosening the individual’s bonds with society. The
process of alienation often includes or is based on an active conflict inside
the individual; a conflict that feeds aggressiveness and antisocial behavior.
There has been recently observed a tendency of intensifying anomie and
alienation, striving for survival through avoidance of binding to others. The
alienation makes it possible for the individual to set themselves free from the
universal human values such as “showing tolerance towards others”, “not
using violence”, etc.
The question that appears here is whether this is a form of adaptation to the
managing of violence at an everyday level or this is an element in the
process of reproduction and approval of asocial models of behavior among
which Violence is the most obvious example.
In the second chapter the author dwells on a great deal of research on family
abuse of both regional and national importance. These pieces of research
show:
 There is a mass spread of violence in marriage. In most cases there is a
link between violence between parents of one and the same family and
violence observed in their own families;
 Alcohol makes the abuse extremely drastic and dangerous for the victim.
The results show that men who consume alcohol are more likely to use
weapon when threatening or forcing the victim;
 Quite little attention in the research is paid to other forms of domestic
violence, namely violence done by the already grown children to their
parents as well as violence employed on children, on the elder people in the
family, and especially in the cases when they are ill or helpless;
 Abuse is a serious and widely spread all over the world phenomenon.
There are no appropriate laws for women’s protection both on the part of
authorities and on the part of courts of justice which do not take seriously
their duty to severely punish the perpetrator of abuse in the family;
 There is no statistical data on domestic violence;
 In most cases the state does not provide help for victims;
 The traditional female dependence, including economic dependence, on
men can be seen on a mass scale;
 Unfortunately, there is no legislative difference between victim and abuser
in Bulgaria;
 Pieces of research show that in Bulgaria, as well as in Macedonia and
Hungary, the financial difficulties and unemployment are significant factors
determining domestic violence;
 The number of cases where old parents are victims of their children has
increased. This is connected mainly with the economic dependence of grown
children2;
 More than a third of all the respondents have already witnessed family
abuse2 and 20% of the male respondents and 16% of the women inquired
said that domestic violence existed in their homes;
 Domestic violence that is a result of strict patriarchal structure of the
family where it is acceptable that the man should impose order by using
force is highly tolerated. That is why it is mainly husbands, sons, and fathers
that employ violence;

2
  Op. Cit. Vesna Nicolic-Ristanovic “Violence against women in post-communist societies – cost and
benefits of changes”, forthcoming in Wrodrow Wilson Center Occasional Papers Series, New York
2
  491 university students(both male and female) were polled in Scope
 Social changes such as transitions, crises, wars play an important role in
raising the vulnerability towards domestic violence. These social changes
are reflected in all spheres of life and greatly influence personal relations by
creating situations in which domestic violence is possible. Family relations
suffered a setback during the last 10 years. This has a lot to do with the
difficulties in finding jobs, the start of private business, or the worsening of
the family’s financial/accommodation resorts;
 The fast accumulation of money can also be a factor contributing to
worsening of the family relations, especially when the partners are parvenus;
 The sudden changes in the social and economic status bring back the
traditional gender roles of both women and men and do not provide
opportunities for an easy adaptation to the new situation. As a result men are
observed to be in a state of stress and depression while women show great
worry and low self-confidence. As a whole this leads to worsening the
relations, which includes family abuse;
 Female aggression towards their husbands is observed to be escalating
especially during the last few years.
The piece of research on regional characteristics of domestic violence in
Bulgaria showed that here approximately sixty thousand women per year
suffer a severe form of abuse (battering, severe and medium physical
injuries, rapes, debauchery, attempted murder). Approximately 2/3rds of
them are victims of family abuse.
According to a study on domestic violence in Bulgaria made by “Gender
Project in Bulgaria” Foundation (in March 2000) 635 460 Bulgarian women
confessed to have suffered physical violence at home. This problem is even
more serious because the ill-treated women are usually silent and accept the
facts about their partner’s use of abuse instead of searching for help or
putting an end to their living together.
The social price is:
 Only in Sofia about 15 women per year die as a result of domestic
violence;
 12 709 women needed medical aid;
 190 638 women were absent from work;
The author makes an analysis of the data of a representative sociological
study done in 1999 by the Institute of Sociology3. The analysis shows that
3
 ESSt ”Bulgarian Women in the Transition Period: Risks, Inequalities, Social Value” done in May 1999
and financed by the SOCO Program of the Institute of Humanitarian Studies in Vienna, by the Program for
Development of Central and East Europe, as well as by Ford Foundation. The study deals with 1200
Bulgarian man and women and represents the country’s gender, education and constituency characteristics.
Bulgarian society greatly tolerates violence. One out of every three men
from the countryside as well as one out of every five men from the town
believe that it is absolutely acceptable for men “to employ violence with the
purpose of imposing order in the family”. One woman out of five from the
countryside and one out of every ten women from the town supports this
very idea. This fact is also confirmed by the data of a study made by Gender
Project in Bulgaria Foundation in March 2000. The study shows that 30% of
the inquired agree with the idea and 12% of the inquired greatly support it4.
The observed domestic violence in one of the biggest Bulgarian towns –
Varna, confirms the significance of the problem5. The majority of
perpetrators are husbands (62.2%). Children (13%) and other members of
the family (18.5%) are also among the perpetrators.
The separation of the family roles and the management of conflicts, as well
as the choice of strategy for partnership between the sexes depends on many
factors. The analysis of gender characteristics of power and the decision-
making in the contemporary Bulgarian family, which is not dependent on the
declared attitudes to liberalization, leads to the conclusion that violence is
greatly practiced. This is a result of the inability to agree on the conditions of
living together and the absence of adequate skills for partnership and
agreement.
Considering the analyses it can be said that the tolerance for domestic
violence in villages is twice as much as the one in towns.
Among the reasons for abuse in the family the inquired most often point out
the husband’s dependence on alcohol, appearance of mental derangement,
and painful complexes. Sometimes maltreatment can be seen as an act of
revenge for an alleged or real infidelity. Quite often living standards are said
to be reasons for abuse – a housing problem, living together with parents or
other relatives, disagreement in the raring of children, etc. The economic
instability and lack of money has recently added to the intensifying of
“everyday stress”, which is also pointed out as a possible reason for
domestic violence. Both in towns and in the country approximately every
one out of six men indicates this as a factor that lead to violence against the
woman in the family.
Practice proves that every third woman does not look for help. Shame, fear,
and a feeling of being on a stump are among the basic motives of victims for
not searching for help and assistance. The victim’s helplessness and being

4
 The study is made by “NOEMA” and is representative of the country.
5
 The study is based on the medical records of victims of domestic violence for the 1996-98 period. The
majority of victims are women (81.6%) at the age of 20-40 (50.9%). (referring to Nikulic-Ristanovic
2001a:4)
with their back to the wall may make them aggressive. They most often turn
to their family, relatives, friends and only about 1% turn to the police6.
A very important role for the employment of different forms of violence –
physical, psychological, and sexual, plays the economic dependence of
women, if there is such. In many cases this is the basic reason why the
woman cannot break the relationship and put an end to her living with
regular harassment by the husband.
In the book the statement that there are two basic forms of influence on
women’s vulnerability to domestic violence by the economic and social
changes in everyday life4 is discussed:
 Violence connected with growing poor and unemployment;
 Violence connected with privatization and accumulating money.
The economic changes in the period of transition have two major ways of
influencing the status of men. Men are more likely to take part in
privatization and black economy, as well as to be preferred when competing
together with women for jobs. This leads to the intensifying of male identity
and rebirth of the traditional roles of the sexes in the family.
Beside this, in the book it is also dwelled on the statement that the lowering
of men’s economic and social status and men’s inadequacy to their wives’
social status, as well as the social stress and isolation raise the risk of
domestic violence. This group of men is characterized by the fact that their
lack of manliness, i. e. the deepening of the difference between the social
understanding of “being a man” and the actual ability to be one, may bring
about abuse in the family. This model appears to be predominating in
couples where through violence the woman is forced to keep to the
patriarchal gender roles. This corresponds to the believe that the traditional
roles set a strict hierarchy between the sexes and at the same time form both
favorable conditions for violence and factors depriving women from the
social and economic opportunities to leave their oppressors. The data about
the reasons why women become dependent on men confirms the relationship
between the changes at a macrolevel and the return to the traditional roles of
sexes and domestic violence.
What kind is the link with between the economic and social status of men?
What kinds of methods do men use in order to continue performing
oppressive actions? Searching for the answers of these questions, the author
finds out that:

6
 Op. Cit. “Bulgarian Women in the Transition Period: Risks, Inequalities, Social Value”, 1999
4
 Vesna Nicolic-Ristanovic; Violence against women in post-communist societies – cost and benefits of
changes, 2001
     The most common reason for women’s dependence is the fact that
during economic changes and reforms it is more difficult for them to find a
job. They are often without any job or they have quitted their jobs because
their partner does not allow them to work, or because he has either
persuaded or forced them to devote more time to the family or the family
business. Women work and/or get less money than their husbands. On the
other hand husbands-abusers are often economically independent and
receive big incomes.
 One of the reasons for violence is the increase of time during which the
Man is outside the house as well as excessive burdening, stress, and
uncertainty of the working place and income.
 There is also an accent placed on men’s absence from home and their lack
of time for the children. These are in fact causes for intensifying of everyday
strain and increasing the risk of domestic violence. The author puts an accent
on this especially in the cases where a man’s successful social position and
absence from home is opposed by the woman’s loss of job and staying at
home, i.e. her restriction to the sphere of family life and her economic
dependence on her husband.
Examples for this are the marriages of women to parvenus, i.e. men who
have become rich for a short period of time thanks to the changes. During
the time of communism these women used to be economically independent.
Quite often they feel themselves victims of degradation while being
housewives. This leads to lowering their self-confidence and abilities to
oppose violence. If the widespread feeling of men’s inadequacy connected
with their incapability to earn enough, even when they officially have jobs,
is also added, the way of women’s becoming vulnerable to family abuse5
becomes clear. The going down of economic positions and social status
leads to further individual crises. These crises deepen with women’s
complaints that men are incapable of performing their traditional roles. This
includes the following cases:
1. When both partners are unemployed and/or do not bring any income (or
    when the income is not enough);
2. When it is only the woman that earns money.
“When a woman loses her job she does not feel well but this is a more
acceptable situation. This is so because of the belief that men are those who
earn money for the family and women either work or don’t work. In

   5
     An interview with R. Indjeva on June30th, 1999; ( op.cit. Vesna Nicolic-Ristanovic; Violence
    against women in post-communist societies – cost and benefits of changes, 2001, page13)
Bulgaria women have always been working. They have always been
working not because they want to but because they have to6.
The book pays special attention to the crisis of manliness as an additional
factor for domestic violence when the social discrepancy is a result of
female employment and her better financial state. In such cases besides his
incapability to fulfill the traditional male roles connected with earning their
living, there is another factor causing domestic violence – male frustration,
his being passive and his staying at home. In addition it can be said that the
expectations (and sometimes pressure) of his wife, who takes part of the
responsibilities for looking after the children and taking care of the
household, may aggravate the contradictions.
When the man is without job and does not earn money he tries to escape
from reality by using alcohol. This is another factor that intensifies women’s
vulnerability to family abuse.
The book pays attention to the media and its opinion of domestic violence.
The media’s main characteristics are ignoring, neutralization, and
minimization. The term “domestic violence” is rarely observed: either when
an analytical feminist article on this subject is published or when the
discussed violence is connected with murder7.
The author presents the data given by a media research made in Bulgaria7. In
more than half of the cases (56%) the employed violence is connected with
murder. 14.3% of the cases are connected with serious physical injuries,
8.3% - with not serious physical injuries, and 6% - with offence and
ignoring. The media usually suggests that the responsibility for what has
happened lies in both victim and abuser and the actual abuse is expressed by
quarrels for money, domestic squabbles, battery, bad relationships, domestic
tragedies, emotional manipulating, or decision to separate with the partner.
Jealousy, infidelity (36.9%), and use of alcohol (19%) are the most
frequently stated reasons. The minimization of violence and the male
responsibility are presented through the understanding of jealousy and its
connection with abuse. This is the traditional patriarchal point of view
presented as a logical consequence of love and intimate relations.
There is another characteristic detail of the media’s understanding of
domestic violence that is marked in the book – men are often presented as
6
  Radka Valkova,Gender Project for Bulgaria, an interview made on June 30, 1999 (op.cit. Vesna Nicolic-
Ristanovic; Violence against women in post-communist societies – cost and benefits of changes, 2001,
page15)
7
  Popova et al, 1997, Elimination of Violence throw Research and Education (Research project) Sofia
(op.cit. Vesna Nikulic-Ristanovic 2001б:292)
7
  within the framework of “Eliminating of Violence by Research and Education” project; “Gender Project
for Bulgaria” Foundation
victims of the loss of power in the family and the traditional manliness,
which is later seen as a reason for violence. Similarly women are expected to
sacrifice their lives for “the happiness” of the family even when this means
that they will become subjects to violence. In this respect the nostalgia for
the time when men and women lived together “till their dying day” seems
easy to explain.
What way does the media find out of the situation? The way of police
interference (8.8%), medical and social protection (8.8%), help from the
family or friends (5.9%), specialized organizations’ aid (4.4%), legal actions
(2.9%). In 73.5% of the cases another /!/ way is suggested.
The author of the book points out the basic characteristics of domestic
violence as a way of establishing male power and control, while discussing
the different ways and reasons for this8:
 Forcing and threatening: he threatens to hurt her or hurts her; he threatens
to leave her or to commit suicide; he makes her abandon the submitted
accusations; he frightens her by looks, actions, braking things, destroying
her property, maltreating animals, threatening with weapons;
 Emotional maltreatment: he controls all her actions, supervises all her
meetings and conversations, as well as what she reads and where she goes,
he also limits her outdoor activities with the excuse of being jealous;
 Limiting and isolating her;
 Depreciating, denying, and accusing: he extenuates violence and does not
take seriously her worry about it; he tells her that it’s her fault;
 Taking advantage of children: he makes her feel guilty for the children, he
uses them for sending her messages, he uses his visits for torturing her, he
threatens to take her children;
 Taking advantage of the privilege of being a man: he treats her as a
servant, he takes all the important decisions alone, he acts as a master, he
himself determines the roles of the man and woman;
 Economic violence:
Several significant changes connected with the problems of domestic
violence have been observed for the last few years. This happened mainly
because of the “boom” in the establishing of non-governmental unions –
foundations, associations, and centers for out-of-court protection of victims
of violence9 in Bulgaria;
 Now women look for help;
8
 Domestic Violence: Power and Control, “Gender Project for Bulgaria” Foundation
9
 op. cit. Vesna Nicolic-Ristanovic; Violence against women in post-communist societies – cost and
benefits of changes, 2001, page 10 - 11)
 There are many organizations that provide help – hot line, consultations
(both psychological and legal);
 A shelter for women victims of violence has been organized;
 Judges, attorneys and policemen are being trained;
 Seminars and conferences are held. Campaigns for change of laws
connected with domestic violence carried out in all countries;
 The people’s sensitivity on this matter is being deepened;
 Positive changes in the police attitude towards domestic violence are
observed: a community of women working in the police is established which
is a part of the European net of policewomen and others.
There are rules for determining the kinds of domestic violence in many
legislative systems all over the world10. All those countries have orders
forbidding physical abuse. There are different terms used for determining it.
Here in Bulgaria all pieces of sociological research on domestic violence11
dwell on three main forms of domestic violence: physical, mental, and
sexual. There has recently been discussed an economic abuse connected with
economic domination and ability of one of the partners “to collect and even
spend the money of the other”12.
The book pays special attention to the forms of domestic violence: physical,
mental, economic, sexual, violence against the children of a family. There is
information for a wide spreading of psychological abuse that seems not to
get the necessary attention. It is usually connected with other forms of
violence – physical, sexual, and economic. Only 6.6% of the inquired
confess that they are victims of sexual violence. How do women victims of
violence react? Here is some data:
 8% called the police;
 5% turned to the prosecutor’s office;
 13% returned violence for violence;
 12% ran away;
 7% made an attempt to commit suicide;
 25% just accepted the facts;
 10% filed a divorce suit;
10
   The state’s responsibility for domestic violence: conditions and necessary changes 2000, by the row of
Sheller, M and others, “Gender Project for Bulgaria” Foundation, (edited for Bulgarians by Muleshkova, I,
pages 97-100
11
   The analysis uses data from three sociological pieces of research which are representative for the
country: 1. “Bulgarian Women in the Transition Period: Risks, Inequalities, Social Value”, 1999; 2.
“Domestic Violence in Bulgaria”, made by NOEMA, ordered by Gender Project in Bulgaria, March 2000;
3. of public opinion done by Alfa Research, May 2001
12
   According to a study of public opinion from May 2001 4.7% of the inquired stated that “it is acceptable
for one of the partners to collect and spend the money of the other”
 20% turned to women’s organizations;
 54% of the women reacted by making a row and 25% by beating: 55
women from the prison in Sliven serve a term of imprisonment for causing
murder, serious physical injuries, etc.
According to the results from the Alfa Research study (May 2001) 28.5% of
the polled said that they knew families in which physical maltreatment is
practiced.
There are different types of physical abuse. The figures show the different
ways of becoming a victim of domestic violence. Judging by the answers of
the inquired the victims are mainly women. From 1% to 4% of the inquired
say that they know male victims. 60% of the polled state that they personally
know people, mainly women, who were hit and maltreated by their partners.
11% if the polled are victims themselves (March 2000). According to the
data from this study there are different reasons why women do not look for
help. They do not look for help because of: feeling of shame, unwillingness
to share their pain with other people, fear from the abuser, lack of
information for a possible alternative, hopelessness, fear and a feeling of
guilt.
The author discusses other pieces of research, which give better chances for
a thorough analysis of domestic violence (physical, psychological,
economical, sexual, child abuse) considering the different socio-
demographic characteristics of the inquired: social status, sex, age, place of
residence, race, income per member of the household.
Some characteristics of family life are basic among the factors leading to
high levels of family abuse on children. Based on those characteristics, a
classification of parents by social status, level of emotional comfort and way
of managing the family conflicts can be made. This classification forms the
following groups:
1. Parents, who are socially excluded;
2. Parents with a low income, education, and profession;
3. Parents, who consider their marriage unsuccessful;
4. Parents, who are convinced that the ma should dominate in marriage;
5. Parents, who believe that the physical punishment of children and beating
    up the wife is a natural phenomenon;
6. Parents whose fathers resorted to physical violence when taking care of
    the family conflicts;
7. Parents, who incessantly quarrel;
Actually, child abuse is a social – psychological phenomenon that depends
on many factors and is discussed on four basic levels: the individual level,
the family level, the level of society, and the cultural level.
The level of family includes studying the family relations connected with
abuse. This means studying the broken relations between the members of the
family and the family conflicts that lead to child abuse.
The book accents on the level of society as the influence of social aspects
such as work, formal and informal social contacts, social-economic factors,
stress and social isolation.
The level of culture (the level of macro-system) discusses the characteristics
of values and attitudes, which stimulate aggressive behavior via the
influence they have over the development of the individual, family and
society.
These characteristics may include rejection (or acceptance) of the too severe
punishments controlling the child behavior, the attitude towards violence as
a legitimate way of dealing with troubles, as well as parenthood built on the
“possessive” feeling about the child.
This model permits the study of the roots of child abuse on the four levels of
analysis. They are believed to have interconnected and multiplied effect on
the characteristics of child abuse. The author quotes pieces of research
where it is most characteristic for child maltreatment to shift from the
psychiatric model14 of explaining child abuse to defining of this
phenomenon as a process that multiplies the influence of risk and protectoral
factors. Such an approach accepts the use of many potential characteristics
of violence for both further research on this matter and development of
programs for prevention.
The suggested approach is used in social practice and in the discussing of the
many-aspect model of predetermining the “quality” of parenthood via
describing the characteristics of parents, the child, and their social milieu.
The risk of violence is connected with both the risk factors of the
relationship parents-children and the specific characteristics of parents and
children. The quality of parenthood is looked upon as a derivative of the
characteristics of parents, children, and social milieu. In this way parent
violence can be predicted, especially of parents greatly prone to violence.
The book pays special attention to sexual violence as a social problem,
especially to the violence in intimate relationships. The following social
problems valid for Europe are pointed out:
1. Not enough attention is paid on sexual violence in the national and
    European programs;
2. The unsuccessfulness of the legal system effectively leads to suits against
    sexual violence;
14
  It puts an accent on the fact that the defining psychological characteristics of the individual are a reason
for maltreatment.
The relatively low rate of recorded cases is being accented on. The average
statistics for Europe show that from 1 to 12% of the cases of sexual violence
are registered at the police. In this respect a considerable bar seems to be
distrust in the legal system – the police, prosecutor’s office, and court.
Serious problems with further reactions of recorded cases are observed. This
means that in many cases the abusers do not receive a just sentence. There
are both similarities and differences in the European countries and the
countries of the world, still there is one thing for sure – the underestimating
of this phenomenon by both the country and professionals adds more to the
situation in which legal bars are being multiplied rather than being limited. It
is also observed that services connected with aid for the victims of sexual
violence are less in number than those of other forms of domestic violence.
This forms part of the context in which the international legislation and
policy such as the Pecan platform for action, the European Union’s plan for
action against violence against women as well as the politics of EU, its plans
for action at a state level work.
The necessity of legislative changes is being accented on. Such changes will
reflect the strategies of limiting and eliminating sexual abuse as well as the
consequences (for women, for reaching of international standard, control and
prevention of crime).
A more detailed analysis throws a light on those stages and moments in
which a considerable part of the cases of violence drop out of the legal
system. On the one hand this is connected with the fact that the majority of
victims lack confidence in court institutions due to which they do not turn to
them for help. It is a frequent practice that the cases are registered as “false
complaints” or “lies”. Either some of the victims withdraw their accusations
or the prosecutor drops out the case for lack of adequate proofs. It is a
general practice that the accused is exonerated by a court decision.
What is the picture in Bulgaria? Let us first consider the crime and court
statistics of sexual violence. The data suggests that the number of suits,
which ended with a sentence, have more than three times decreased for this
thirty-year period and the number of sentenced perpetrators has 3.5 times
decreased. On the other hand police statistics present data according to
which women victims of violence are about six times more. In fact bigger
numbers can be given if the fact that a significant part of the victims do not
turn to the police for help is considered. There are different reasons causing
this fact and among them are the fear of revenge from the abuser and the
knowledge of the abuser - a friend, relative, husband, or boss. The victims
are mainly afraid of not being believed or of being rejected especially in the
cases of incest. They are also afraid of the police, hospital, and legal system
because they believe that no one will see what has happened the way they
see it. What is more, victims accuse themselves and are afraid that others
will accuse them. It is logical that they want to forget what has happened by
not talking about it. Otherwise, the feeling of lost intimacy is added to the
feeling of exposure.
According to the police data of the town of Burgas for the 1995-1999 period
the victims of sexual violence are 225 women and girls. 40 of them are
victims of debauchery; 17 – of an attempt for rape; 168 – of rape. The
annual report of “Animus” Association shows that from the 2233 victims of
violence 105 (or about 1 out of 100) are victims of sexual abuse and 59 (or
about 3 out of 100) are victims of traffic of women and forced prostitution.
From 1998 to 1999 1634 women turned to the hot line of the association for
help. 83 of them (5%) are victims of sexual abuse, 121 (or 7.4%) – of
women trafficking and forced prostitution15.
 The sexual abuse in the intimate relationship is rarely paid special attention.
The European project for studying sexual abuse financed by EU and
“Daphne” Program showed that there is only one research on rape, one on
sexual aggression among the young, one on violence against women
accenting on rape, and four on domestic violence as sexual abuse. (Rape: the
Forgotten Issue, 2001:13). It is characteristic for most pieces of research on
domestic violence that they do not pay attention to sexual abuse. This book
presents the level of its distribution in some European countries:
 Research in Finland (1997) show that 19% of the family abused suffered
sexual abuse in a previous relationship, 6% - in present relationship. 1/10
looked for medical help although 50% had physical injuries;
 In Germany (1999) 8.2% were forced to make sex, 13.8% persuaded or
intoxicated in order to make sex, 25% describe cases that are considered
crimes by the Law16;
 Research on domestic violence in Hungary show that 10% of it is sexual 17;
 Research made on Latvia says that 5.2% of women were victims of sexual
violence during the last 5 years18;
 A study in Holland on a representative passage (1992) shows that 21% of
women suffered unwanted sex, and 7.4% have continuously been forced by
the intimate partner19;

15
   FAA “Animus’s annual report for 1999, page 28
16
   Research on sexual practices, 1999. 304 young women are referred to.
17
   Olga Tot’s piece of research on sexual practices, 1999. 304 women are referred to.
18
   769 women were inquired as part of an international piece of research on crime; Olga Tot’s piece of
research on sexual practices, 1999. 304 women are referred to
19
   1016 women were inquired.
 In Switzerland 11.6% suffered unwanted or forced sex in the intimate
relationship20;
 In Great Britain 25% of inquired women were raped or were subjects to an
attempt to be raped. In most cases the violators were their intimate
partners21.
 The pieces of research which put an accent on some details of sexual abuse
in the intimate relationship and which use terms such as “forced” or
“unwanted” sex instead of “rape” are wide-spread.
 A statistical study made in Canada in the beginning of the 90s 22 shows that
1 in every 3 of the interviewed confesses to have been sexually abused.
What is more, for more than 60% of the inquired this is not a single incident.
Only 6% called the police (as compared to 25% who reported for cases of
domestic violence). They tell the following reasons why they did not call the
police:
1. The police cannot do anything (50% of the polled);
2. The existent police and court practice;
3. Fear of next violence23;
Similar conclusions change the understanding of rape as well as the fact that
its consequences should not be considered a crime. The fact that in 2/3rds of
the cases it is registered a second victimization is explained by the
circumstance that in the majority of cases the perpetrator is a man well
known by the victim. This fact also suggests the fear of a following attempt
in a different situation. One of the studies in Great Britain (1996) finds out
that 1/3 of the women involved in court suits for sexual abuse were subjects
to pressure and threats by the accused or his relatives. This is in fact a
second victimization of the sufferer. That is why it is necessary that victims
should be provided more protection and security as well as paid more
attention by the police when they ask for help.
The author uses a sociological model, which determines violence as an
aggressive behavior that is socially reproduced. It is connected with different
cultural motives, which permit the lessening of the individual responsibility
and present its identity as a non-deviant one.
A group of sociologists focus their attention on the different types of
techniques used by perpetrators in troublesome situations. They describe the
excuses and explanations, the language “constructions” that explain and
eliminate the negative characteristics of such behavior. The term “similar
20
   This study is made in 1995 by the method of telephone interview. 1519 women were asked.
21
   The study was carried out in 11 towns and the inquired were 1007 women.
22
   This is a national interview of 2300 women by the method of telephone interview.
23
   The polled had the right to give more than one answer.
actions” is used in literature on order these techniques and strategies to be
accented on when there are some problematic characteristics of the situation.
This conception is brought to the attempt of whomever of the actors to
present the event according to its culture by different means. In this respect,
culture is defined as “a net of cognitive inhibitions – objects – to which
people are connected”, including physical inhibitions, expectations and
definitions of others.
The performance of corresponding actions includes normative culture’s
knowledge of the elements that are applicable when explaining violence and
it leads to an action corresponding to these norms. Through this way
violence is legitimized.
Among the most common excuses for sexual violence are those that present
the woman as the one to blame and the one that deserves violence. The book
mostly discusses two excuses for violence:
The first thesis is connected with masochism. It is quite widespread even
today. Although in 64% of the cases the abuser used threats and/or force,
they explain their behavior through this thesis. 24% of those confessing to
have used violence said that the victim either did not resisted or did not
resisted enough. They said they believed that the victim agreed and that they
did not actually force her. It is typical for abusers not to redefine their
actions even if they used compulsion to break the woman. The rest excuses
are connected with the problem of accepting the blame and responsibility,
which abusers try to accuse them of. They are connected with the normative
expectations of gender roles and are estimated as additional factors for
committing a crime. Most often they refer to the emotional condition of the
woman or to the use of alcohol or drugs. These are things excusing men but
shifting the responsibility and blame on women (who get what they
deserve).
As a whole abusers think that their behavior is excusable although it is not
quite decent or proper and it should not be regarded as violence. Despite this
there can be found significant differences in the essence and tone of the
explanations of both confessing and denying violators.
The second thesis is connected with the understanding of a Woman as a
provoking and even responsible for the violence done on her: women are
victims of their own sin. They flirt and behave in an appalling way which
basically is a prerequisite for sex. Since women are believed to be shy about
their sexual abilities, their refusal to respond to the sexual needs of men
seems normal. Compulsion is not commented on. Men believe that women
unconsciously want to be possessed by using force. Such explanations make
violence seem more dependent on women than on men.
Sometimes an extreme attitude towards the sufferer is demonstrated. She is
the aggressive one, the sinner that made the abuser behave like that.
What may excuse such behavior according to perpetrators?
Opposite to those that refuse to accept their guilt, those that confess it see
their behavior as morally unacceptable and beyond excuse. They blame
themselves although some of them continue to rely on the conviction that
women provoke violence for example by their little resistance. For the
confessing, both the alcohol use and the emotional condition at the moment
explain their behavior. For those that deny, these things bring discredit on
the victim and make her more responsible than she actually is. The
explanations include apologies and excuses. Those that do not accept their
actions as violence in fact justify their own deeds. Those that admit to have
committed a crime try to excuse it. This does not give an answer to the
question why some confess and others deny, still, it describes how men, who
are aggressive and brutal, construct reality. It describes the different
strategies and tactics.
Since sex is believed to be men’s right sexual violence in the intimate
relationship is not considered a criminal act. In this case the denying
similarly to the others try to provide themselves with “legal” identity. Via
the use of excuses they construct “an opposite version” of the crime and try
to demonstrate how their behavior was adequate although not quite legal. In
this case their denial is based on traditional culture stereotypes, which deny
the existence of victim.
The first form of denial is based on the cultural point of view about men
being the dominant ones and women – inferior, weak, and helpless.
Portraying the victim as submissive, obedient, dependent, feeling pleasure of
being vulnerable rejects the damages as well as the hurting. In this respect
violence appears to be just a technique for dominating. Even when hurting
women men seem to answer her wants.
The second form of denial presents women as “those who get what they
deserve”. Through attacking her behavior and more rarely her emotions, the
denying try to suggest that she is not as flawlessness as she presents herself
and that they are not guilty.
While the confessing accent on the use of alcohol and/or drugs, the denying
stress on their consumption by the victim and try to bring discredit on her by
making her feel more responsible than she actually is.
Such behavior reflects our values, which historically victimizes women by
spreading the myth of women being guilty and responsible for the violence
they have to suffer.
The statistical data on divorces in Bulgaria for the 1989-1995 period show
that more and more divorces wanted by women are motivated by physical
and moral torment on the part of men. This is the reason for the divorce of
every fourth woman. For the 1989-1995 period there are 16 000 filed
separations by women caused by the husband. From every third to every
fifth divorce happened because of “physical and moral harassment”.
The interviews with beaten women show that as a whole the result is
shocking and confusing. At the same time battery is rarely understood as an
unambiguous act of violence, which demands immediate reaction for
providing future security. In fact maltreated women often have relation with
the violator that is prolonged for years, that does not exclude violence and
does not insure security. The question is “why?”
Most of the inquired base their reasons on the social and cultural
expectations of women and their position in the patriarchal family. These are
the reasons why women exclude or do not want a separation. The patriarchal
rules puts women second and at the same time gives men the dictatorial
power both inside the family and outside it. Cultural traditions shouldn’t also
be ignored in a society that justifies the husband-abuser.
Women’s economic dependence also should be considered. The Lack of
place to go, the influence of parents, friends, and children who do not
understand the problem are all important factors which stop women from
breaking the relationship.
The fear of revenge and murder, emotional problems, the hope that the
abuser will change his attitude should not be underestimated. The lack of
alternative is also an important reason why women stay at home despite the
use of violence. Now such an alternative is ambiguously defined: incomplete
or partial institutional and culture aid for women-victims, who want to put
an end to violence; unclear consequences of one such decision, which
includes children; the difficulties and the prolonged period in which
husbands try to secure their control over their wives and houses, etc.
It is a fact that in Bulgaria any level of the legal process does not protect the
infringing of women’s basic human rights that are guaranteed by the
constitution (they must not be forced). No institutional mechanism for
separating the victim from the abuser is worked out. Still, it is a fact that the
most dangerous period for them is the period of breaking the relationship
during which they are socially and legally insecure.
Women who materially depend on men at the same time depend on them
when determining their own self-esteem and their own self-confidence as
well as when receiving emotional help. In all cases violence appears to be an
effective way for gaining power and control over the victim.
That is why the question “why do these women remain in the family?” is
related to the mechanism for reconsidering the process of victimization in
the sense of the stated above dependencies. We will put an accent on the
relations between the partners while at the same time we will not forget
about the significance of the macro-factors determining the violence against
women.
Although the woman’s staying with the partner-abuser does not mean that
she accepts violence as an acceptable aspect of their relations, the period
connected with attempts to save the partnership after the use of violence
shows her efforts to accept the negative situation. The book quotes some
pieces of research, which indicate this period as a four-year period. Some
women leave their husbands by the end of the first year while others stay
with the family. The latter look for a way to give a logical explanation of
violence in order to save the status of the relationship and to accept the
imposed role. This happens via the so-called techniques of rationalization on
which maltreated women:
1. Victim’s appeal to people’s understanding and sympathy for the
    abuser who she presents as a very sick or oppressed;
2. The victim’s refusal to accept the abuser as one who is not in a
    temporal condition;
3. Rejection to accept the injury as a result of the act of physical abuse:
    this is one technique that is often observed and victims use it in order to
    rationalize violence. Hidden behind their unwillingness to speak, show
    their injuries to somebody or even remember what has happened stays
    their refusal to publicly confess their pain and suffering;
4. Victim’s refusal to reconsider the fact of systematic employment of
    violence against her. This is connected with the victim’s unwillingness
    to accept victimization and with her self-accusations;
5. Denying the existence of a possible alternative choice; this explains
    why when maltreated women have the chance to start a new life some of
    them return to their abusers;
The opportunities for choice are defined in two ways:
a) A practical choice of the maltreated woman connected with providing her
    with means for survival, a place to live, a shelter from the abuser during
    the separation period;
b) An emotional choice connected with the conviction that she will never
    again be able to experience friendship and love for the other sex because
    it will be impossible for someone to replace him in her thoughts and
    feelings either because of experienced disappointments or because of
    emotional commitment. And if the physical maltreatment seems
    dangerous, painful, and shameful for some women then the perspective
    of life in loneliness seems much more frightening for many women. That
    is why they believe separation is not worth risking.
6. Relying on high values no matter whether they are traditional, religious
    or other techniques of rationalization and neutralization which explains
    the patience needed for the systematic domestic violence. They are
    connected with arguments such as the statement that patience is a virtue 24
    that is considered in the “afterlife”. They may be explained with the
    respect to norms, values, or institutions that are granted for a given
    society and are more or less justifying violence against women for the
    benefit of children, etc.
In all cases the purpose of the listed above techniques for rationalization is
dealing with the situation out of pragmatic or emotional reasons. Usually
maltreated women use more than one or a combination of explanatory
schemes. For some of them these may continue to exist throughout all their
life together. For others they change during the development of the
relationship depending on the individuals and on the reasons which may lead
to redefining of violence.
When the maltreated woman rejects the explanatory schemes and finds
herself guilty for the employed violence against her, the process of
victimization begins.
Many researchers put an accent on the size and quality of employed
violence, on the escalation of violence with time, on its cruelty, the
intensifying of the partner’s aggression. They take all those things for
important factors when women take the decision to leave the home and to
put an end to the relationship. At the same time there is empirical data for
the lack of statistically dependent correlative link between escalation of
violence and continuity of living together. What is more, the data shows that
it is women who are regularly maltreated by their men who live longer with
them. In this case, what functions as a catalyst in the process of realizing
their victimization, is a sudden change, an abrupt escalation of violence.
Only then does the woman suddenly realize that the next time may have a
fatal outcome for her and that she has to do something about it in order to
prevent further violence. So the intensifying of cruelty in violence may play
an important role in this process, although it may not give guarantees for all
cases.
Moments of violence are usually followed by moments of regret and sorrows
by the partner-violator, which makes his rejection harder for the woman.
24
  For example, in Christianity the Biblical understanding of women’s conformity to men has many nuances
one of which says that “women should fear men” (Effes, 5:33)
Still, with escalation of violence the times of intimacy become shorter or
cease to exist while at the same time they eliminate the basis of positive look
on the relationship. What is more, after a period of time the partner may
come to the conclusion that since the woman stays she has accepted the role
he gives her and there is no more need for repentance to be demonstrated.
The prolonging of the periods without love and tenderness may stimulate the
change in the relations between the partners until she sees herself as a victim
and looks for a way out of this situation.
The lost hope for the better is a “red light” for women victims of violence.
This signal may turn into the beginning of realizing of victimization and
possible practical actions against the situation.
 A very important factor stimulating the realization of the process of
victimization is the change of attitude towards violence. This change is
based on the hidden (in the home) and therefore secret (not shown to others)
character of domestic violence.
 A significant factor stimulating the awareness of victimization is the
information of a possible alternative – life without violence. This is the
choice of resources for solving the problems such as lack of choice or a
place where they can stay and receive help – in specialized institutions: non-
governmental organizations, associations and foundations 25. The improving
of legislative practice is also a step towards the change of ways and means
of realization of an alternative choice after reconsidering the situation.
The profound sociological analysis of the problems of domestic violence
also has a practical significance: it helps the expanding of resources, ways
and means of providing help and protection for victims. This happens on the
one hand through studying their behavior and the factors that stimulate the
strengthening of their personality and on the other hand through providing
practical and emotional aid in realizing and escaping from their negative
experience and understanding their personal rights and freedoms. In this
respect the developing of strategies for fight against domestic violence plays
a very important role: frequent campaigns are carried out in order for the
society to get acquainted with these problems; programs teaching the abuser
are developed; professionals working with maltreated women are being
trained; concrete help is given to victims. In this respect, state and non-
governmental organizations as well as institutions dealing with domestic
violence also play a very important role.


25
   In Bulgaria such organizations are “Animus” foundation established in 1996; center “Nadia” which is the
first shelter for women victims of violence; “Demetra” association in Burgas etc.
A multidisciplinary approach to domestic violence is needed as well as the
active help of all professionals engaged with the problem.
Other forms may also be of use:
1. Information for the types of services, strategies for intervention, legal,
    psychological, and medical assistance, the development of a net of
    partners – the police, prosecutor’s office, court, offices for social help.
2. Training for the development of new types of standards of behavior and
    work with women; for the society and social institution’s preventive
    interference; for winning the assistance of sympathizers who will
    participate in the change of norms of behavior at an institutional and
    personal level. This will make people, especially women, more sensitive
    and at the same time more informed on the problems of domestic
    violence.
The development of an informative net will broaden people’s legal
knowledge and together with the training of specialists will mobilize society
to new concrete actions for initiating of changes in the legal system. It will
also exert influence on the police, the prosecutor’s office and the court
system. Attracting allies and giving courage to all whose aim is eliminating
of domestic violence will initiate the need of legal reforms with a view to
reach international standards.
What are the ways of limiting domestic violence discussed in the book?
According to the polled25 the most useful way is the upbringing of young
people in the spirit of mutual respect, the existence of more severe laws and
their actual use, the punishment of abusers. Also quite useful may be the
information about different kinds of help, the training of police officers, the
existence of a telephone line for victims of violence, brochures, campaigns
for attracting people’s attention, etc.
In Bulgaria the normative order for protection from family abuse is not
satisfactory. Some deeds should be referred to as crimes by the Penal Code:
for example the “physical injury” alluded to in article 124: domestic
violence should be considered a crime and put on trial. According to article
153 from the penal code a victim to unwanted sexual intercourse can be only
a female individual.
Family legislation should be reorganized and the influence of all family
relations that lead to violating the rights, health and life of victims should be
considered. Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights says
“No one should be tortured, treated in a cruel, inhumane, or humiliating


25
     Domestic Violence in Bulgaria, March 2000, page 34
way, or punished”26. Violence is an unacceptable behavior, which harms
people’s dignity and is unwanted, imprudent, offensive for the sufferer.
 What are the main things27 that should be done?
 Activities connected with broadening the range of information;
 Campaigns and lobbing;
 Initiating strategies for legislative changes;
 Constant monitoring and studying;
 Preventive/educative activity;
 Training and sharing the experience with others in order to help victims of
violence as well as coordination of efforts.
In the context of family abuse the programs of prevention are relatively few.
In the cases where they exist they are not paid enough attention, are not
controlled or valued. In its greater part these programs deal either with child
or with family abuse.
Logically the basic factors connected with behavior and domestic violence
are included in the attempt to find a formula for prevention. The strategies
for prevention depend on:
 Decreasing the number of sources of stress and the number of risk factors;
 Increasing the number of opportunities for social assistance;
 Looking for ways of extending the abilities of the partners – their
experience and self-confidence;
Risk factors are connected with the individual characteristics or situations
and they are sometimes out of people’s control and it is difficult to change
them. In the case of family abuse and abuse on children the stress factors can
be chronic or temporal and they may include factors such as unemployment,
poverty, etc.
The possibilities of social help are connected with the informal groups –
friends, relatives. They form resources for mutual assistance and upbringing
of children through studying the problems, providing means or pieces of
advice, and reducing isolation. Improving and acquiring of knowledge
include great competence and the behavior and emotions of the specific
problem. For example, parent and marriage consultations and knowledge for
solving the problems are relevant to a way out of domestic violence. The
intensifying of self-confidence and self-esteem has a lot to do with realizing
the personal abilities and resources.
These factors can be used both in preventing from violence and in
preventing from victimization – via acquiring of skills that secure protection.
26
     Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, Sofia, 1998, page 2
27
     see Kelly Burton, Regan, 1996
In this respect there are different ideas that describe programs for reducing
stress: new qualification of unemployed, reducing the risk situation (aid,
education, care for parents with children who have problems, esc.);
heightening the level of social help, skills for dealing with the situation and
new vision of the self-esteem. Different courses for solving family, work,
religious, etc problems are suggested in high schools. Developing the skills
of solving conflicts by negotiations and compromises.
It is not checked to what extend these courses and programs achieve their
goals. The teaching of parents and the connected with it system of services is
traditionally connected with the net of services for prevention. Such is the
role of the centers for helping the victims of domestic violence in Bulgaria.
These centers are:
 “Animus” Foundation, which is established in 1996 and which provides a
twenty-four-hour telephone line, consultations (legal and psychological),
therapeutical programs and seminars, campaigns on prevention 27 and others.
The Foundation has opened centers for psychological and legal aid in
different towns28;
 “Nadia” center offers free consultations with a psychiatrist, psychologist
and lawyer. This is the first shelter for women-victims of violence and their
children in the country;
 “JAR” Foundation, “Gender Project for Bulgaria” Foundation, and
“Bulgarian Gender studies” Foundation also work on the problems of
domestic violence.
 In this respect other non-governmental associations are established. Their
main purpose is protection for women from violence29.
Here are some of the topics29 discussed in the seminars:
 Experience of social services for children and families in an unequal
position;
 Establishing a project for social work;
 Family-group consultations;
 Group approach in taking decisions;
27
   There, in 1996, club “Margarita” was established where each weak victims of violence can meet, talk and
help each other, as well as they can answer to letters addressed to the Foundation. The members of this club
visit schools four times per yea and talk with the young on several topics: violence, domestic violence,
sexual abuse, forced prostitution. (annual report of “Animus” Association for 1999)
28
   in Pernik, Plovdiv, Dobrich, etc.
29
   Association “SOS Families”(Varna); Аssociation “Дemetra”(Bourgas); Consultative Center on domestic
violence’s problems, Unit “Center Maria” (Gorna Orjahovitsa); Foundation “Protection” – Center for
victims of violence (Gabrovo); Foundation “Woman” (Sliven); Foundation “Equal Rights” (Silistra);
Association for Psychological Help” (Pleven); Department for Women victims of Violence (Krdzali) etc.
29
     “Demetra”,2001,copy 5, pages 16, 23
 Social work with the minorities – theory and practice;
 Hidden discrimination;
 Diagnostics of family milieu;
 Training of members of nongovernmental organizations;
 A program for fighting against violence on women through training and
escalating girls and men’s sensitivity and through consulting abusers30.
When preventing child abuse many factors should be considered:
 Factors connected with individuality or with psychic health of parents (i.e.
parents’ experience connected with the violence used in their childhood);
 Child characteristics (including temperament);
 Situational characteristics of micro-medium: sources of stress and aid
(including marriage, access to formal and informal assistance, etc);
 The macro-system regarded as values for upbringing of children;
 Social practice or subculture in which the individual, family and society
are found.




30
     This program is set by “Demetra” association, Burgas and by “Bulgarian Gender projects”, Sofia

								
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