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Public Defender Terms Absence of Female Expert in Samkharauli Forensics Bureau Branch as Discrimination against Female Victim of Violence

On December 21, 2020, the Public Defender of Georgia established indirect discrimination on the ground of sex, as a female victim of sexual violence had been twice examined by male experts at the Western Georgia Regional Forensics Department of Samkharauli Forensics Bureau due to absence of female experts. The applicant's interests were represented in the Public Defender's Office by the Women's Initiatives Supportive Group (WISG).

According to the Public Defender, even indirectly forcing a victim of sexual violence to be examined by an expert of the opposite sex is a gender-insensitive approach and it should be borne in mind that the above would not be desirable for most of the women who have experienced sexual violence. The applicant referred to the traumatic experience in her written explanations, highlighting her grave emotional state.

The above issue was evident in the recent study conducted by the Public Defender as well, which found that forensic examination of victims of sexual violence is often a traumatic procedure. Women who have been sexually assaulted often face insensitive, degrading and gender-based stereotypes during forensic examination, which undermine their participation in the justice process and result in secondary victimization. Victims of sexual violence often refuse examination because of the sex of the experts.[1]

Based on the above, the Public Defender addressed Levan Samkharauli Forensics Bureau (LEPL) with a recommendation to employ female experts in the Western Georgia Regional Forensics Department; take into account the different needs of persons to be examined in the future; provide comprehensive information to the staff of the National Forensics Bureau, who are responsible for conducting forensic examination in cases of sexual violence, about the psychological aspects of communication with victims of sexual violence.


[1] See the study of the Public Defender of Georgia: https://rm.coe.int/-web/1680a0a414.

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