Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia Analyzes Cases of Violence against Women and Girls

Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

On 22 March 2016, the UN Women Country Office in Georgia, in cooperation with the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, organized a conference to present its studies on cases concerning violence against women and girls (VAWG); including domestic violence (DV), femicide, early marriage, etc. The studies were presented tovarious government bodies, international organizations and local NGOs.

The UN Women Country Office in Georgia, in cooperation with the Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia, organized a conference; Photo: Prosecutor's Office of Georgia
Opening remarks were made by the Chief Prosecutor, Mr. Irakli Shotadze; UN Women Country Representative,Ms. Erika Kvapilova; Chief Justice of Georgia, Ms. Nino Gvenetadze; Deputy Minister of Interior, Mr. ArchilTalakvadze; Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr. Sandro Baramidze; and Deputy Head of the Human Rights Protection and Civil Integration Committee of Parliament, Mr. GedevanPopkhadze. The speakers all stressed the importance of galvanizing efforts towards tackling violence against women and girls and the need to take a holistic approach to one of the most pervasive human rights violations.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office presented the main aspects of its workin 2014-2015concerning its fight against violence against women andgirls. The work in particular covered femicide, domestic and sexual violence as well as a comparative analysis of their investigation, prosecution and trends over the reporting period. The findings of the studies illustrated that following active awareness raising campaigns and improved criminal law policy, the rate of reporting to law enforcement agencies has doubled and the degree of cooperationof victims/survivors with law enforcement agencies had increased; and this ultimately resulted in higher rates of criminal prosecutions and convictions.

“Proactive steps undertaken by the Government and NGOs towards women’s rights protection have significantly contributed to the destruction of stereotypes related to women. Women increasingly protect themselves through legal mechanisms. Therefore, law enforcement, and especially the prosecutor’s office, must be ready for these changes in public attitudes,” said Chief Prosecutor Shotadze.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office further stressed the importance of a series of trainings for prosecutors on VAWG/DV, supported by UN Women in 2015. They also stressed the development of prosecutorialguidelinesfor investigators and prosecutors to be used as guidance in the handling of VAWG/DV cases. As a result, the timeliness of investigations into VAWG/DV has significantly increased, as has the ability to accurately identify the legal grounds for such cases. Moreover, all of the femicide cases from 2015 were solved. It should be further emphasized, that the application of discretionary powers by prosecutors in VAWG/DV cases has been reduced to a minimum, and sanctions for perpetrators have become increasingly proportional.

The Prosecutor’s Office also presented criminological research on crimes committed against the sexual integrity and freedom of juveniles; which is also applicable to early marriage cases. There is a pressing need to amend the relevant article of the Criminal Code of Georgia andto identify and implement preventive measures to address this problem.

The studies are available here.