Public Defender’s Statement on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
The Public Defender of Georgia joins the 16 Daysof Activismagainst Gender-BasedViolence and believes that Georgia has taken a number of positive steps in the fight against violence against women and domestic violence.
However, systemic problems remain, which require an immediate response from the State. Cases of forced child marriage, which mostly happen through abduction or deals between parents, remain a challenge. Eexistence of this problem was clearly shown last month with the worst case of the murder of a 14-year-old girl, which was preceded by various forms of gender-based violence.
It is important for the State to pursue a strict policy and ensure the implementation of necessary measures, including legislative measures, for the prevention of early marriage and proper assistance and protection of girls. Special attention should be paid to the non-reporting of crimes, as well as teachers’ awareness of the existing legal regulations, and appropriate steps should be taken for each violation of the referral procedures.
In a coordinated manner, with the involvement of all relevant agencies, necessary measures should be taken to prevent the extreme form of violence against women, femicide. Efforts should be strengthened in this regard especially in the regions and communities where gender norms and stereotypes are still strong.
A number of systemic challenges remain in the direction of appropriate response to the cases of violence against women and domestic violence. The legislation relating to sexual violence is also problematic, as well as coordinated work between the state agencies. Until now, no document has been approved relating to the national referral procedures for the identification, protection, assistance and rehabilitation of victims of violence against women and/or domestic violence.
Services for victims of violence are not accessible to women in some regions. Victims of violence are not properly empowered, which is further hindered by the scarcity of municipal programmes tailored to the needs of victims of violence. In addition, the availability of training courses focused on violent attitude and behavior change for all perpetrators is problematic.
In response to the gender-based oppression of women from an early age, it is important for the State to make adequate efforts to effectively combat the causes of gender-based violence, as well as to eliminate the circumstances that make it difficult for women to escape from violence.