Research teams from Norway and Bulgaria collaborate to prevent domestic violence

18-10-2023 11:25

The research team and experts from the Chamber of Investigators in Bulgaria and the Research & Training Point Foundation hosted a meeting with domestic violence researchers from the University of Oslo (UO).

Prof. Maylen Skilbrey and prof. Anna Ratecka from the MA Law Department participated in working meetings with representatives of the investigative and prosecutorial authorities as well as the academic community in Bulgaria. Key issues of investigation and analysis of this type of crime were discussed.

A joint team of Bulgarian and Norwegian experts is engaged in the development of a comparative report assessing the parameters of the crime in both countries, as well as good practices and models from Norway for the prevention and investigation of domestic violence against women, with a focus on the Roma community.

In an interview for the project, the Norwegian experts said that the working meetings in Sofia were extremely useful for exchanging experiences and finding the most effective approaches for crime prevention and investigation.

The differences between Norway and Bulgaria start with the definition of "domestic violence" and the related family and cohabitation relationships in the legislation, said Prof. Skilbray. The institutional structure of investigative bodies also differs and these features will be taken into account in the research report.

The cooperation between the university and the investigating authorities, according to Prof. Ratecka, can take different forms and can be initiated by either party (both during pre-trial investigation and in the assessment and formulation of criminal policies), but an objective and unbiased scientific view of topics such as this is crucial to provide the basic scientific results on which to ensure equal access to justice for all victims and fair sentences for perpetrators.

The event is part of the activities of the project "Information-Investigation-Protection: combating Violence against Women (PROTECT), funded under the Small Grant Scheme of the Justice Programme of the NFM 2014-2021.

More information about the project, materials from the expert studies, on the project website: and in Facebook.