Guria’s anti-domestic violence efforts in focus
Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Within the framework of the EU-funded project “Unite to Fight Violence against Women”, UN Women has been working in Georgia’s south-western region of Guria to strengthen the local-level response to domestic violence and promote zero tolerance around the issue.
As part of this initiative, a series of meetings on domestic violence with service providers and local communities in Guria were conducted in July 2019. On 23 July 2019, UN Women in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia (MIA) conducted a capacity development training for 25 police officers in Guria. The training focused on recent policy and legislative developments in the police’s response to domestic violence, such as the effective utilization of the domestic violence risk assessment methodology introduced by the MIA with UN Women’s technical support. Goga Razmadze, a trainer at the MIA, reflected on the event: “The training was very useful for police officers. Investigators lacked information on how to use the risk assessment tools and questionnaire in practice. They were informed about their obligations and received a number of specific recommendations."
On 24 July 2019, UN Women in partnership with the MIA, Ozurgeti Municipality and the Public Defender’s Office hosted a round-table meeting bringing together representatives of the Local Government, State Agencies and Public Defender’s Office to discuss region-specific challenges and strategize about enhancing multisectoral cooperation on domestic violence in Guria. The importance of intersectoral cooperation was stressed by Lela Sajaia, Chair of the Gender Equality Council functioning under Ozurgeti Municipality. She also noted that Ozurgeti Municipality is currently running a programme that supports domestic violence survivors in accessing affordable housing.
On the same day, two community meetings were also held in the villages of Guria, where UN Women presented the collection of fairy tales “There Once was a Girl”. The fairy-tale collection was developed by UN Women in 2018 with the support of the Government of Sweden and features 21 fairy tales inspired by real female figures from Georgian history and mythology.
Since 2017, UN Women with the support of the EU has implemented a series of programmatic interventions in Guria. Such interventions have included launching a crisis center for the victims/survivors of domestic violence in partnership with the State Fund; conducting a series of awareness-raising campaigns in cooperation with local civil society organizations; and building the capacity of local service providers, including representatives of the local governments and police.