Public Defender Establishes Case of Sexual Harassment and Sexism

On January 22, 2024, the Public Defender established a case of sexual harassment manifested in physical behavior. In particular, during the study of the factual circumstances, it was revealed that the defendant, without permission, physically touched the female applicant.

Unauthorized touching of a person's body constitutes sexual behavior, and such an act crosses the line of permissible interaction between the parties.

In the context of sexism, the Public Defender also considered the evaluations expressed by the defendant during the conversation with the applicant about her appearance, body and personal energy. According to the Public Defender, repeatedly pointing out to the applicant that she has a male origin and criticizing her because her appearance does not correspond to the defendant's ideas about sexuality represents an attempt to shame a person based on her gender and is a manifestation of obvious sexism.

As for other phrases of sexual content used in communication, despite the fact that certain episodes of the dialogue were clearly obscene and sexual in content, they turned out to be acceptable to the speakers. Thus, the component of undesiredness, which is a necessary element of the concept of sexual harassment, could not be satisfied.

It is significant that in the process of studying the case, the defendant was informed of the standard of the burden of proof, however, he did not present his position to the Public Defender's Office to deny the fact of sexual harassment.

The Public Defender advised the defendant not to engage in sexual harassment in professional or other relationships in the future and not to create an environment that is insulting, humiliating or inappropriate for the dignity of individuals.

The interests of the applicant were represented in the Public Defender’s Office by the Georgian Young Lawyers Association.

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