Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia presents analysis of cases of violence against women and girls

Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office, in cooperation with the UN Women Country Office in Georgia, hosted a conference on 27 November 2018 to discuss the outcomes and challenges related to investigating and prosecuting domestic violence crimes in Georgia.

From left to right: Peter Danis, Programme Manager, EU Delegation to Georgia, Natia Mezvrishvili, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Country Representative in Georgia, Giorgi Gabitashvili, Deputy Chief Prosecutor of Georgia, Natia Merebashvili, Acting Head of the Department of Prosecutorial Activities Supervision and Strategic Development, Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia, Salome Shengelia, Head of the Human Rights Protection Division, Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia
From left to right: Peter Danis, Programme Manager, EU Delegation to Georgia, Natia Mezvrishvili, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Country Representative in Georgia, Giorgi Gabitashvili, Deputy Chief Prosecutor of Georgia, Natia Merebashvili, Acting Head of the Department of Prosecutorial Activities Supervision and Strategic Development, Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia, Salome Shengelia, Head of the Human Rights Protection Division, Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia; Photo: The Chief Prosecutor's Office

The conference showcased the importance of intersectoral, cross-agency cooperation and high-level political commitment to combating violence against women and domestic violence. Among the keynote speakers were the Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Mr. Giorgi Gabitashvili; UN Women Country Representative, Ms. Erika Kvapilova; and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Ms. Natia Mezvrishvili.

“The fight against domestic violence is one of the priorities for the Prosecution Service of Georgia. We pursue strict criminal law policy with regard to such cases,” noted Deputy Chief Prosecutor Gabitashvili.

The findings of the analysis of domestic violence crimes illustrate that as a result of the preventive measures taken and the improvement of the quality of prosecutorial supervision, the rate of reporting domestic violence by victims/survivors and the rate of launching criminal prosecutions have increased significantly - more than five-fold since 2014, amounting to 3,049 criminal prosecutions in 2018 (over a nine-month period).

The policy towards perpetrators has become stricter; the rate of requesting detentions as a restrictive measure has increased significantly, from 14 per cent in 2014 to 90 per cent in 2018 (over nine months). The Prosecutor’s Office pays special attention to each case and any past incidents of violence for the purposes of detecting different forms of violence as well as determining systemic violence. Detection of psychological violence has improved, while detection of sexual violence remains a challenge.

Notwithstanding the significant progress, when compared to previous years, the issue of identification of gender-based discrimination motive in violence against women and domestic violence cases remains as challenge, with only three such cases in 2016 and 82 cases in 2018 (over 10 months).

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office especially stressed the importance of having the formalization of specialized prosecutors to handle domestic violence cases since 1 May 2018; these prosecutors have been trained for the purposes of effective investigation and timely response to the crimes, with the support of UN Women. Also emphasized was the introduction of witness and victim coordinators in domestic violence cases who ensure support to the victims by providing relevant services during the course of criminal proceedings.

The partnership between UN Women and the Chief Prosecutor’s Office launched in 2014 in the framework of the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality (funded by the Government of Sweden and implemented by UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women).