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NGO airs report on violence against women

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, March 29
Georgia’s Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) has revealed a report entitled “Domestic Violence, Domestic Crimes and Violence against Women,” wherein the results of the GYLA’s monitoring of criminal cases in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Gori and Telavi City Courts and Tbilisi and Kutaisi courts were presented.

The monitoring was conducted by the GYLA with financial support of USAID through the Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia (PROLoG) Activity implemented by the East-West Management Institute (EWMI).

The project aimed at increasing the transparency of criminal proceedings in Georgian courts and improving the standards of protection of human rights by monitoring the proceedings at court hearings and analysing collected information.

The monitoring revealed the following findings:

In most cases, judges fail to adequately assess existing threats in cases of domestic violence, domestic crimes and violence against women, and they impose unreasonably lenient preventive measures on defendants. This poses a potential threat to the life and health of victims of domestic violence. In comparison to the previous reporting period, the percentage of inappropriately applied preventive measures in such cases significantly increased.

The adequacy of punishment with respect to such crimes remains a problem. Despite the judgments of conviction and the gravity of the crimes, judges are reluctant to impose imprisonment on the perpetrators of domestic violence.

The investigation and assessment of gender motivated crimes is still a significant challenge for the prosecution and the judicial authorities. In none of the cases related to violence against women that were identified as a result of the monitoring were the crimes classified as committed on discrimination grounds of the Criminal Code of Georgia. Despite circumstances indicating a gender-based discrimination motive, the prosecution and judges do not address such motives in the consideration of cases.

There are cases of violence against women and domestic violence that were given incomplete and lenient classification, indicating ineffective and neglectful activities by the prosecution.

Such reports are essential, as violating women’s rights is still a serious problem in Georgia.

It is very important that the relevant state bodies, the Prosecutor’s Office and law enforcement agencies pay more attention to the problem and act more effectively against domestic violence.

It is highly regrettable that the state still fails to support women who have children but no job or accommodation to leave the men who physically and psychologically abuse them.

There are also cases when families refrain from taking back women who are the victims of domestic violence, with the motivation that people may negatively speak about the families and those women who leave their abusers.

There remains much to be done in terms of raising the people’s awareness about the domestic violence and its possible threats; the government must understand that the problem is cultural, not legal.