Mobile app will help with domestic violence

25-08-2023 10:27

A mobile app will help victims of domestic violence with information about all the institutions they can turn to for help, Natalia Ilieva, director of the National Legal Aid Bureau, told the Telegraph. The application is currently being developed by Information Services and will be ready by the end of November. Anyone will be able to download it on mobile phone or other media.


Under a project of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, the Legal Aid Bureau enables socially disadvantaged people who are victims of domestic violence to receive free legal advice. This is for people living below the poverty line - with a special focus on women and children in the Roma community and domestic violence. The project is in 3 districts - Varna, Stara Zagora and Veliko Tarnovo. One of the activities is to create such a coordination mechanism for interaction between institutions so that persons in need receive help and protection quickly. In Stara Zagora we have achieved the result of getting an immediate protection order from the court in 24 hours with the full assistance of the police and their crisis centre," Ilieva said.


Two Roma mediators in each of the three regions help to make contact with Roma communities. The mediators notify the people, gather them and then lawyers arrive to give on-the-spot consultations in the neighbourhoods.

"It's very helpful to this community. A Roma mediator from Varna told me: Since you enter the pendulums, they beat less because they know that they are starting cases. There are many and varied forms of violence," Ilieva said.

The project is implemented in partnership with the Norwegian Judicial Administration. There are on-site consultations in the regional counselling centres and mobile consultations - lawyers in Roma neighbourhoods.


"Last year, we took a decision to allow lawyers who are registered in the regional counselling centres to provide legal assistance - on-site counselling to victims of domestic violence in the district police stations, crisis centres and hospital facilities," Ilieva said.

On 16 March this year, on the initiative of the Bureau, a memorandum was signed with the Ministry of Interior and the Bar Associations, which have established regional counselling centres. When the police identify people who have suffered domestic violence, they should inform them that they have the right to legal aid. Bar Councils must appoint a lawyer to carry out this legal aid.