Anti-domestic violence measures strengthened in Kvemo Kartli

Date: Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Since 2016, UN Women has been working jointly with the EU in Kvemo Kartli, a region with one of the highest prevalence rates of domestic violence in Georgia according to the 2017 National Study on Violence Against Women.

A round-table stakeholders meeting to discuss progress and region-specific challenges about enhancing multi-sectoral cooperation on domestic violence in Marneuli
A round-table stakeholders meeting to discuss progress and region-specific challenges about enhancing multi-sectoral cooperation on domestic violence in Marneuli; Photo: Marneuli Municipality Sakrebulo

On August 20, 2019, representatives of UN Women, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the State Fund for the Protection and Assistance of (Statutory) Victims of Human Trafficking, the Public Defender’s Office, the Legal Aid Service and Marneuli Municipality gathered to assess progress, as well as discuss challenges and priorities for further action for combating violence against women and domestic violence in Kvemo Kartli. Strengthening multi-sectoral cooperation, raising awareness of the services available for the victims/survivors of violence and the need for greater engagement of local governments were among the keystone topics discussed during the round-table meeting.

In 2016-2019 UN Women within the framework of the EU funded project “Unite to Fight Violence against Women” supported the capacity of local service providers, including lawyers, police, Public Defender’s Office and local governments to strengthen response to violence against women. Several awareness-raising campaigns have been organized in partnership with local NGOs, and a crisis center for the victims/survivors of domestic violence has been launched in Marneuli.

The crisis center, launched in Marneuli in early 2019 provides psychological and socioeconomic assistance and rehabilitation, medical, legal and referral services to domestic violence victims/survivors and constitutes the fifth state-run crisis center in Georgia along with already operating crisis centers in Tbilisi, Kutaisi (Imereti) Gori (Shida Kartli) and Ozrugeti (Guria).

Eka Bedianashvili, the head of the crisis center in Marneuli, reflected on the event: “The opening of a crisis center is crucial, but to ensure women are aware and are effectively accessing these services, a multisectoral effort to awareness-raising interventions is required.”

The Public Defender’s gender specialist based in Marneuli, Mariam Gvidiani, who has provided legal consultations to over 765 clients from 2017 to date, remarked: “In the Kvemo Kartli region, we deal mainly with issues of early marriage and domestic violence. The number of cases we are handling is increasing each year. “

The head of the Marneuli sakrebulo, Amiran Giorgadze, expressed his readiness to deal effectively with domestic violence. He also stressed that the Gender Equality Council functioning under the Marneuli Municipality will continue to contribute to increased coordination between local stakeholders active in the field of ending violence against women and domestic violence.