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Image: Society encourages femicide, which permanently blames the woman in the facts of violence

Society encourages femicide, which permanently blames the woman in the facts of violence

In accordance to the survey report by the UN Population Fund, every 11th women is victim of domestic violence. According to the report of the Public Defender of Georgia, 21 women were killed in Georgia in 2013, 23 women were killed in 2014 and 28 facts of femicide and attempted femicide were observed in 2015. It is brief and alarming statistics provided by the civil society in Georgia.

Monday, 28 November 2016

At night on July 10, 2016, the husband cut off ear of his wife in Khaishi village, Tetritskaro municipality. As neighbors reported, the man often beat the wife and forbade her to leave home. Two days later, the husband wounded his 20-years-old wife in the throat in Ponitchala settlement, Tbilisi as a result of what the girl died. On October 14, a transgender woman of 32 was wounded in Tbilisi, who after 40-day coma deceased in the hospital. “It is femicide – the crime which has gender and which is committed only against women. Most facts of violence against women is committed based on the gender-motivated hatred. Women are killed and harassed because their behavior is considered unsuitable to their role. Regardless the fact that several dozens of femicide cases happened in the country in the past few years, our law enforcement system does not acknowledge it,” Baia Pataraia, executive director of the Union Safari, said.

According to the report of the Public Defender of Georgia, 21 women were killed in Georgia in 2013, 23 women were killed in 2014 and 28 facts of femicide and attempted femicide were observed in 2015. It is brief and alarming statistics provided by the civil society in Georgia.

In accordance to the information published by the MIA, from January 1 to October 18 in 2016, 13 persons have died as a result of the domestic violence in Georgia. In the same period, 1107 facts of domestic violence were reported, among which criminal prosecution started into 694 cases. The Court endorsed 2124 restrictive orders issued by the police. According to the official data, in 2015, 5106 persons were affected in the estimated 2 726 facts of domestic violence; 87% of them were women. As a rule, the women aged in between 25 and 44 are under the highest risk.
“The data provided by the MIA is far from reality. Police does not get information about majority of the domestic violence facts because women rarely apply to police for help because of low trust to them. According to the official data, the number of victims, who report about the domestic violence facts to the MIA, has increased for the past three years. In 2015, center for emergency situations received 15 910 calls about the domestic violence on 112 (emergency number). The police commenced investigation only into 949 cases, issued restrictive orders in 2 727 cases; nobody knows what happened in the rest facts,” Baia Pataraia said.

“I do not think that 12 000 persons called the police for nothing. I believe 15 910 calls about domestic violence facts is very small number for Georgia. The researches show that violence against women and domestic violence is very large-scaled and wide-spread problem and crime in Georgia. Simply, the police cannot identify the fact or tries to get rid of similar cases and not register them.”

In accordance to the survey report by the UN Population Fund, every 11th women is victim of domestic violence. The 2008-2010 survey report of the Anti-Violence Network of Georgia states that every third women in Georgia is victim of different forms of violence.

Nowadays, there are 5 victims of domestic violence in the shelter of the AVNG. They escaped death unlike the ruthlessly beaten and killed transgender woman.

Representative of the Network Eliso Amirejibi believes the main reason of the increased number of femicide and violence against women is inappropriate punishment of harassers. “The state does not have effective response mechanism to combat similar crimes. Femicides are often associated with social problems and sometimes the harassers get inadequately low punishments. He will pay a bail or spends 3 years in prison and then gets pardoned and leaves prison. What is the purpose of similar punishment? There are cases when harassers are not punished at all. You remember the suicide act by Khanum Jeiranova in September 2014, who was physically and verbally assaulted by the relatives of the husband before she committed suicide. This accident is still investigated by the prosecutor’s office. Although there are many witnesses, nobody was arrested or punished for the crime. Consequently, similar crimes are repeatedly committed. The society encourages the femicide facts, which permanently blames the women in the violence facts even when the woman is victim of violence. Prosecutor’s office and MIA is also part of this society.”

Member of the Republic Party Tamar Kordzaia believes regardless several legislative amendments approved by the 8th convocation of the Parliament of Georgia, there is no tangible and real results in this direction. “Under the law a harasser shall take rehabilitation course. However, you will not see information about the implemented rehabilitation programs in any reports of the Government. Besides that, let us review the 2016-2017 National Action Plan to end domestic violence and violence against women and measures to be taken for the defense of the victims. You will see that main focus is on awareness raising, trainings of public servants and creation of video rolls. Of course, it is good but not enough. When femicide has become very alarming problem for the society, the government members declared they started working on the elaboration of the state strategy against the violence. The discussions about the femicide in the Parliament showed that the government members are not aware what the violence is. We speak about awareness raising but the Ministry of Education has very limited role in the 2016-2017 Action Plan to defend victims of violence and to end violence against women and domestic violence. Even a first-grade school-child shall know that when similar fact happens in his/her family, he/she must call 112 and ask for help. Every child, who can recognize numbers and call phone, shall know it. Until we equip children with similar practical knowledge and will be oriented only on pseudo-activities, we will be very far from the solution of the problem.”

Representatives of the MIA state fight against the violence against women is one of their main priorities and the Ministry has already taken some steps to implement this priority. More precisely, 500 policewomen were recruited by the Ministry and number of restrictive orders and punished harassers has significantly increased.

The Public Defender of Georgia believes the steps taken by the state to end violence against women and femicide is not enough. “Number of injuries and ruthless forms of violence is still high; the police used protective measures in over 2000 cases. However, unfortunately there were cases when police were reported about expected fact of violence in advance but failed to prevent them. Our monitoring findings show that often law enforcement officers do not evaluate risk of repeated violence and do not work out individual action plans to ensure safety of the victims. Considering these circumstances it is important that situation in respect with the women’s rights shall be taken into consideration when studying the facts of violence and to implement effective actions in each case,” the Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili said.

The special report of the Ombudsman of Georgia – “Women’s Rights and Gender Equality” states that miscarriages will remain unaddressed until the MIA elaborates effective mechanism to evaluate and identify risks of violence, until the femicide definition is introduced in the law and the Istanbul Convention is ratified by the State, which requires the member states to develop concrete services for the prevention of the violence against women and domestic violence.

Manana Vardiashvili

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