Special manual developed for investigators, prosecutors and judges on cases of sexual violence crimes

Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Deputy Prosecutor General of Georgia, Natia Merebashvili attending online presentation of a special manual developed for investigators, prosecutors and judges on cases of sexual violence crimes. Photo: The Prosecutor Office of Georgia
Deputy Prosecutor General of Georgia, Natia Merebashvili attending online presentation of a special manual developed for investigators, prosecutors and judges on cases of sexual violence crimes. Photo: The Prosecutor Office of Georgia

A new manual, aimed at improving access to justice for victims of sexual violence in the Georgian criminal justice system has been developed. The purpose of the manual is to assist investigators, prosecutors and judges in their practical activities in order to achieve better results on criminal cases and to create a safe and supportive environment for victims of sexual violence.

Presented online on 22 September 2021, the manual was developed with the support of UN Women, the Council of Europe and the international organization Equality Now, as well as the Prosecutor Office of Georgia, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and international and local experts, including court representatives. The presentation was attended by Deputy Prosecutor General of Georgia, Natia Merebashvili, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Alexander Darakhvelidze, and representatives of the Council of Europe, UN Women and Equality Now.

“The fight against sexual crimes is very important for us, so we will spare no effort to have a qualified, victim-oriented state prosecution that meets international standards. This manual will be an important tool for everyone who works on this topic,” said Deputy Prosecutor General of Georgia, Merebashvili.

The guide combines the best techniques and methodologies for investigation, prosecution and adjudication on rape and other forms of sexual violence. It should be noted that until now, there was no effective educational tool tailored to the Georgian context and aimed at improving access to justice in cases of sexual violence.

Deputy Minister Darakhvelidze noted: “This is a very important document that will help investigators to accurately and correctly handle the investigation process, to have the right communication with the victim and witnesses and to choose the right investigation strategy so that no such crime goes unanswered. The public should have high trust in law enforcement.”

Training modules have been developed based on the manual, as a result of which specialization is being granted to investigators and prosecutors on the topic of sexual violence. By the end of 2021 this training is expected to be delivered to over 370 criminal police officers and prosecutors, building their capacities in handling sexual violence cases.

The manual was developed under the auspices of the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality, funded by the Government of Sweden, as well as the Council of Europe project “Promoting an Integrated Approach to End Violence against Women and Enhancing Gender Equality in Georgia” and was supported by Equality Now.